Arthritis usually occurs in small joints of the body, such as- hands, the vertebral column and the knees. Broadly, it can be divided into four sub-types. Namely, osteoarthritis — arthritis due to wear and tear of muscles with age — and inflammatory arthritis. Medical experts say, arthritis typically begins as a dull aching pain localized most commonly to the knee that worsens when a person climbs the stairs or stands up from a sitting position. As the disease worsens, the pain makes even walking on even ground difficult. Many people may also notice a bend or bow in their knees at this stage.
The medical team at Fortis Hospitals provide some of the best orthopedic treatment in India. Fortis, Bangalore has some of the best orthopedics in Bangalore, with decades of experience who are expert at delivering premium joint replacement surgeries. Their exposure to the latest equipment backed by able paramedics, enables us to administer quality orthopedic treatment in India and quick relief to patients across the country.
Anybody who has arthritis- any type of it, most probably have had lived through a flare. A flare is explained as a period of increased disease activity or worsening of older symptoms – a time when the medications you normally rely on to control your disease may not work. Many patients would also add that flares affect many other aspects of their life as well.
Here is a look at some of the most common triggers of arthritis:
- Smoking: Not only is smoking linked to an increased risk for developing RA, but continuing to smoke if you do have RA can make joint pain worse as smoking makes it harder for RA treatment to be effective.
- Stress: Stress in daily life may increase joint pain by altering your immune function and exacerbating your arthritis. Even though the connection is not clear yet, choosing mind-body practices that help lower stress, like- biofeedback, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, or yoga may help people with the symptoms.
- Lack of Omega 3s fat: Foods rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and other cold-water fish, may help fight pain related to RA. Including more fish and flax seed could significantly help with the symptoms of arthritis.
- Sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle can harm your health in many ways, from increasing the risk for heart disease to further damaging your joints. A lack of muscle strength can mean a lack of joint protection.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese for a prolonged period means your bones and joints have to put up with much more amounts of load than what they were initially meant to carry. Excess fat exhausts your joints which leads to easy and quick deterioration of bones.
- Over-exertion: Even though exercise is important to maintain a healthy muscle tone and keep your body flexible, too much of it can and often does backfire. High-impact activities like running may cause joint pain during an RA flare or in cases of advanced disease. When joints are inflamed, don’t force yourself to do more than you can.
Some of the most common symptoms observed in Arthritis are:
- Painful joints
- Stiffness of joints, especially in the mornings
- Difficulty getting up after sitting for a long time/ taking the stairs
- Swollen joints
- Crackling sounds from the joints
- Difficulty maintaining balance
Arthritis, on an average affects 15% people i.e. over 180 million people in our country. This prevalence is higher than many other common diseases of today- such as diabetes, AIDS and cancer. Rheumatism indicates pain arising from joints or other elements of musculoskeletal system. There are more than 100 rheumatologic disorders classified by the World Health Organization.
Shortage of trained rheumatologists in India and lack of awareness among the masses has led to faulty management of these diseases by unqualified doctors and quacks. Insufficient appreciation of rheumatologic problems appears to be due to lack of knowledge about the conditions. Fortis aims at providing scientific information on arthritis and allied conditions and help patients overcome their problems.
All patients with joint and back pain, especially if associated with swelling and stiffness in morning or after a period of rest, must see a rheumatologist at an earliest possible date. Delay in reaching out to Rheumatology services is the most common cause of irreversible joint damage.
A rheumatologist can save cost of therapy by avoiding unnecessary investigations and by reducing loss of work-days with proper diagnosis and effective management. The medical domain of Rheumatology also includes bone, muscle and systemic diseases such as osteoporosis, myositis, systemic lupus and vacuities.
The different kinds of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: A chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints, especially the hands and feet. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, causing painful swelling. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disorder, in Osteoarthritis, the flexible tissue at the end of bones wears away. The process occurs and worsens over time. Joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees or hips is the most common symptom in this case.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This form of arthritis affects people who have pre-existing psoriasis. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which may flare and subside. Many people with the condition are affected by morning stiffness. Even mild skin psoriasis can have a significant degree of arthritis.
- Gouty arthritis: A form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness and tenderness in joints. Pain and inflammation occur when too much uric acid crystallizes and deposits in the joints. Symptoms of gout include severe pain, redness and swelling in joints, often the big toe. Attacks can come suddenly, often at night.
Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore which is a JCI and NABH certified hospital has been the pioneers in joint replacement surgeries that include simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. With over 12,000 successful knee replacement surgeries, our arthroscopy doctors are dedicated to ensure our patients are at the heart of our efforts at all times.