Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Joint pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion around joints are the most common symptoms of arthritis.
Joint Pain and Its Categories:
It can be grouped in two broad categories Inflammatory and Non inflammatory. Whereas inflammatory arthritis can affect any age group noninflammatory occurs mostly in olders. Most common example of Noninflammatory arthritis is Osteoarthritis and Inflammatory are Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, SlE etc. The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints.
Non Inflammatory or Osteoarthritis:
Non inflammatory or Osteoarthritis affects mostly weight bearing joints like knee and hip. As Non inflammatory arthritis occurs with growing age medicines are not useful in it and treatment can be grouped in two broad categories conservative and operative depending upon the severity of symptoms. Conservative management includes Dedicated exercises and some life style modifications . As far as analgesic is considered Paracetamol is the drug of choice .But if the symptoms are severe enough to restrict your daily activities joint Replacement is considered. Joint replacement provides Painless mobile joint. It corrects the deformity in joints as well.
Inflammatory arthritis is a term used to describe a group of conditions which affect your immune system. This means that your body’s defence system starts attacking your own tissues.Inflammatory arthritis are mostly genetic and you inherit it from your family. It mostly occurs in younger age group. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include Polyarthalgia, morning stiffness and deformities .Management in early stage include NSAIDS, short course of oral steroid and some disease modifying drugs . These disease Modifiers should be started early as they can prevent the damage u can not reverse them. Initially Three drug regimen is started and later shifted to single drug once patient goes in phase of remission.Recent advances in Medical science have led to advent of newer medicines like Biological response Modifier. These drugs are effective but should be used with caution. In late stage if the joint destruction is severe and there is functional impairment Joint replacement is advised which has promising results.
Similarly in other varieties of Arthritis like Infective arthritis – septic or tuberculous arthritis; apart from thorough joint debridement specific antibiotics are used. In late stage if destrction is severe joint replacement is carried out.
Our goal should be to diagnose the correct type of Arthritis and manage accordingly as each arthritis is different. So treatment should not be generalised rather individualized. Adjusting to life with arthritis can be difficult mentally as well as physically, but these treatment approaches can help make this transition as simple as possible.