Treatments

Arthritis
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Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis.The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection. There are several diseases where joint pain is primary, and is considered the main feature. Generally when a person has "arthritis" it means that they have one of these diseases, which include:

Major and severe causes of neck pain (roughly in order of severity) include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout and pseudo-gout
  • Septic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Still's disease

Signs and symptoms

Pain, which can vary in severity, is a common symptom in virtually all types of arthritis. Other symptoms include swelling, joint stiffness and aching around the joint(s). Arthritic disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs in the body, leading to a variety of symptoms. Symptoms may include:


  • Inability to use the hand or walk
  • Stiffness, which may be worse in the morning, or after use
  • Malaise and fatigue
  • Weight loss

It is common in advanced arthritis for significant secondary changes to occur. For example, arthritic symptoms might make it difficult for a person to move around and/or exercise, which can lead to secondary effects, such as:


  • - Muscle weakness
  • - Loss of flexibility
  • - Decreased aerobic fitness

Treatment

There is no known cure for either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (including exercise and weight control), orthopedic bracing, medications. Joint replacement surgery may be required in eroding forms of arthritis. Medications can help reduce inflammation in the joint which decreases pain. Moreover, by decreasing inflammation, the joint damage may be slowed.

- Physical therapy

Studies have shown that physical exercise of the affected joint can have noticeable improvement in terms of long-term pain relief. Furthermore, exercise of the arthritic joint is encouraged to maintain the health of the particular joint and the overall body of the person. Individuals with arthritis can benefit from both physical and occupational therapy. In arthritis the joints become stiff and the range of movement can be limited. Physical therapy has been shown to significantly improve function, decrease pain, and delay need for surgical intervention in advanced cases

- Medications

Treatment typically begins with medications that have the fewest side effects with further medications being added if insufficiently effective. Depending on the type of arthritis, the medications that are given may be different.

- Other treatments

Arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee provides no additional benefit to optimized physical and medical therapy

Epidemiology

Arthritis is predominantly a disease of the elderly, but children can also be affected by the disease. More than 70% of individuals in North America affected by arthritis are over the age of 65. Arthritis is more common in women than men at all ages and affects all races, ethnic groups and cultures. In the United States a CDC survey based on data from 2007–2009 showed 22.2% (49.9 million) of adults aged ≥18 years had self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and 9.4% (21.1 million or 42.4% of those with arthritis) had arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL). With an aging population, this number is expected to increase.

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