Arthritis is a rheumatic disease that plagues most people beyond the age of 50. It can be difficult to live with, as the pain is so unbearable that it practically immobilises the person. There are more than 100 types of arthritis.
Literally speaking, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that causes pain, stiffness and swelling. It refers to several disorders such as osteoarthritis, gout, ankylosis spondylitis, systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The problem is further compounded if the person is overweight, as excess body weight puts more stress on the weight-bearing joints.
Arthritis may be limited to only one joint or it may affect several joints such as your hands, fingers, feet, arms, hips and knees. The pain can be mild or severe depending from person to person, eventually leading to joint deformations.
Those who suffer from arthritis typically encounter symptoms such as early morning stiffness, swelling, joint tenderness and feeling of warmth in the joints. Listed below are some common types of arthritis.
Common Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is considered as a condition of “wear and tear” upon the joints; caused by numerous factors, including age and injury. In this type of arthritis, the cartilage (a tissue designed to cushion joints) wears out, and either thins down or gets completely worn away in some areas. The underlying bone disintegrates; causing intense pain and even bony spurs may grow around the edges of the joints. The next most important step in osteoarthritis is to lose excess weight. Every 5kgs of excess weight increases the risk of secondary osteoarthritis by 30%.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is not a condition of “wear and tear.” This type of arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation that damages the joints. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may experience periods of remission.
Emotional stress and damp weather do not cause arthritis but may worsen the symptoms. While there is no cure for this type of arthritis, physiotherapy and homeopathic medicine can help slow down the disease’s progression. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia and vice-versa.
Some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are –
- Difficulty getting sleep
- Tingling in the hands and feet
A rheumatoid factor test is done to determine if you are suffering from this type of arthritis.
Among other types of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis affects only those people who are suffering from the skin condition called psoriasis. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis that causes red and scaly rash over the elbow, knees, ankle, feet, hands and other parts of the body. The symptoms of this type include –
- Joint pain
- Swelling on the finger and toe
Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic conditions and can get worse if not treated on time. Homeopathic medicines for this type of arthritis reduce inflammation. So, one does not need to opt for joint replacement surgery.
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in joint/s. It usually develops in people with high levels of uric acid in the blood. The first symptom of this arthritis is excruciating pain, especially at the base of the big toe and eventually results in swelling. Gout arthritis attacks can come suddenly, mostly at night-time. Men are more likely to get gout, but women can get it after menopause.
Those suffering from this type of arthritis must bring about some lifestyle modifications such as changing their diet, exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol. These lifestyle changes will reduce the frequency of attacks.
Some signs and symptoms of gout arthritis include –
- Severe pain
- Redness & swelling in the joints
With homeopathy treatment for gout arthritis you can reduce the frequency of attacks and eliminate uric acid from the body.
An auto-immune disease, lupus arthritis is caused by inflammation. Lupus can be fatal because it destroys the healthy tissues in the body. If timely treatment is not taken, this type of arthritis can damage the joints which can cause problems even when lupus is not flaring.
The symptoms are –
- Kidney problems
- Skin rash
- Weight loss
- Painful, swollen joints
The doctor does an examination to check for these symptoms of gout arthritis and accordingly suggest a treatment.
Other Types of Arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Infectious arthritis
- Spinal stenosis
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