31.12.0 Research on Risk Factors of Arthritis & its Management

Editorial         Research on Risk Factors of Arthritis & its Management

Mohsin Masud Jan





Around 15 million adults and 5 million children have been suffering from arthritis in the country. It is a common disease that affects inner system of the body in case of severity.

There are 100 types of the disease but the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of every type are different. Patients reach advance stage of the disease if they are ignorant of the disease. It is a curable disease. The disease affects hands and legs of patients. It attacks on the joints of hands and feet etc. It causes swelling and lining on the upper parts of the joints. It affects tissues too. At the last stage, the patient needs surgery.

Many people experience some type of arthritis, while some types of arthritis can be genetic, other risk factors for developing arthritis include age, gender (women are more likely to have certain types of arthritis while men are more likely to have others), a previous joint injury, and obesity. Here are following three most common forms of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes cartilage – the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint – to break down to the point of which bone grinds against bone, leading to pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis generally appears in the knees, hips, feet and spine, and can either evolve over many years or be prompted by an injury or infection.

People who have osteoarthritis experience pain, decreased range of motion, aches, pain when working, and a feeling of stiffness that sets in after you have rested. Sometimes, joints like the knees even emit clearly sounds when bent. With this form of arthritis, symptoms typically come and go. Osteoarthritis joint pain is worse in the morning, and improves with activity as the day goes on.

If you have osteoarthritis, your healthcare provider will want you to manage your weight and stay active, which can help support and maintain the structures around the joint.

Physical therapy can also be helpful in teaching exercises that will help keep the muscle around that arthritis joint strong. If it is your knee that is painful, for example, you will want to be sure your quad and hamstring muscles are healthy and strong and that you have flexibility in those muscles so that the tendon’s and ligaments can work. In addition, patients often take anti-inflammatory medications (such as over-the-counter pain relievers) to ease symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This common form of arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder. That means that the body’s immune system is forgetting the lining of the joints – which, in turn, prompts inflammation in the part of the joint that protects and lubricates. Once it becomes inflamed, pain and swelling occur.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes joint pain and swelling, especially in the knuckles, heels or elbows. It also causes skin lumps, known as rheumatoid nodules, and stiffness that can last for hours or days.

After a diagnosis of RA, people may be prescribed oral medications or injections to manage their symptoms. These drugs can include corticosteroids (such as prednisone), DMARDs (an acronym for disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs), and biologic injection to control the inflammation. Doctors recommend powerful anti-inflammatories that work to change the inflammation pathway. But one caution is that these medications carry a risk of lowering your immunity, so patients have to be particularly vigilant about infections and may need to stop medications if they become ill.

Psoriatic arthritis: While the cause of psoriatic arthritis is not entirely clear, experts do know that it’s also an autoimmune disease that manifests in similar ways to rheumatic arthritis. The main difference is that when you have psoriatic arthritis, the skin can be involved, as well.

Between five percent and 20 percent of psoriasis patients will also have psoriatic arthritis. Some patients can have it with a lot of skin disease, where the body is very covered in rashes, while others have more joint symptoms and no active skin disease.

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain, swelling, redness in the joints (especially in the hands), nail changes, fatigue eye problems, skin rashes, and swelling and tenderness in fingers and feet.

To control inflammation, psoriatic arthritis patients will take similar medications as those who have RA. These include NSAIDs, DMARDs, biologic, as well as new oral treatments.

When the men were divided into obese and non obese, the link between sugary drinks and worse knee damage held true only in the non-obese men. This suggests that soft drinks worsen knee osteoarthritis independently of the wear and tear on the joints caused by carrying around excess weight, Lu says. In people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage in a joint wears away in some areas. The function of cartilage is to reduce friction of cartilage is to reduce friction in the joints and serve as a “shock absorber.” The wearing away of cartilage leads to pain and other symptoms. Nearly one in 100 people have evidence of knee osteoarthritis on x-ray. And nearly 19% of women and 14% of men over age 45 have joint pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, according to a 2007 study in addition to obesity, known risk factors include;

*Older age

*Prior injury to the knee

*Extreme stress to the joints

What’s man who enjoys soda to do? “There’s an easy answer. Just don’t drink (sugary) soda, “Lu says. He notes that some studies have also linked soda to heart disease. Another expert says that’s going too far. “As with everything, enjoy soda in moderation. If you are (a man with) knee osteoarthritis and are drinking a lot of soda, this might be a reason to curb back,” says American College of Rheumatology spokesman Scott Zashin, MD. Zashin is a clinical professor of internal medicine in the rheumatology division at the University of Texas South Western Medical School in Dallas.

Dr. David, a foreign expert, said there were certain joints pains that stiffen muscles, which were manifested in hard skin as well as change in color of fingertips. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to correctly diagnosed the type of arthritis for proper treatment of the disease.

Terris Gibson from King’s College and Hospital, UK who said that gout is a very painful condition that affects the joints of the body. Big toe, ankle and knees are affected by this disease. It can occur because of the accumulation of uric acid in the body. The initial attack begins suddenly. Excessive weight, medication for high blood pressure and the consumption of too much alcohol can trigger this disease. If diagnosed, this disease can be treated with medications or injections. The best way to approach it is to treat the uric acid which is expelled in the urine. The treatment is long-term, but it is highly affected. The injections can be injected directly into the knees or bones and the uric acid should be managed by medicines.

Dr. D. Shaw from UK said that osteoporosis is the thing of the bones that can eventually lead to fracture of the bones. Worldwide one in every three women and one in every five men suffer from Osteoporosis after the age of 50. The disease can lead to broken spine / vertebrae or broken hips and 10% - 20% of the people die within a year. They slip and the bones are so fragile that they fracture. The people vulnerable to Osteoporosis are women and elderly people.   

Osteoarthritis, RA, and psoriatic arthritis tend to be the most common forms of arthritis, there’s a long list of other types of arthritis. These include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout, Raynoud’s phenomenon, and ankylosing spondylitis. Other conditions, such as lyme disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease – can also include arthritis as one component of a more complex illness.

Arthritis usually occurs in adults, and advanced age is a risk factor for many different types. But children can also get a rare type of arthritis known as childhood or juvenile arthritis.

Because inflammation of the joints can be caused by so many different conditions, it’s important to see a doctor if you are experiencing pain and stiffness. A primary-care physician is a good first step, or you may be referred to a rheumatologist who can help diagnose and treat your specific joint problems.