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Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints.[2] Symptoms generally include joint pain and stiffness.[2] Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints.[2][3] In some types of arthritis, other organs are also affected.[6] Onset can be gradual or sudden.[5]

There are over 100 types of arthritis.[4][5] The most common forms are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis.[6] Osteoarthritis usually occurs with age and affects the fingers, knees, and hips.[6] Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that often affects the hands and feet.[6] Other types include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, and septic arthritis.[6][8] They are all types of rheumatic disease.[2]

Treatment may include resting the joint and alternating between applying ice and heat.[6] Weight loss and exercise may also be useful.[6] Recommended medications may depend on the form of arthritis.[7] These may include pain medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen).[7] In some circumstances, a joint replacement may be useful.[6]

Osteoarthritis affects more than 3.8% of people, while rheumatoid arthritis affects about 0.24% of people.[9] Gout affects about 1–2% of the Western population at some point in their lives.[10] In Australia about 15% of people are affected,[11] while in the United States more than 20% have a type of arthritis.[8][12] Overall the disease becomes more common with age.[8] Arthritis is a common reason that people miss work and can result in a decreased quality of life.[7] The term is derived from arthr- (meaning joint) and -itis (meaning inflammation).[13][14]

Gout is

Gout is caused by deposition of uric acid crystals in the joint, causing inflammation. There is also an uncommon form of gouty arthritis caused by the formation of rhomboid crystals of calcium pyrophosphate known as pseudogout. In the early stages, the gouty arthritis usually occurs in one joint, but with time, it can occur in many joints and be quite crippling. The joints in gout can often become swollen and lose function. Gouty arthritis can become particularly painful and potentially debilitating when gout cannot successfully be treated.[39] When uric acid levels and gout symptoms cannot be controlled with standard gout medicines that decrease the production of uric acid (e.g., allopurinol) or increase uric acid elimination from the body through the kidneys (e.g., probenecid), this can be referred to as refractory chronic gout.[40]

Comparison of types

Comparison of some major forms of arthriti

Infectious arthritis is another severe form of arthritis. It presents with sudden onset of chills, fever and joint pain. The condition is caused by bacteria elsewhere in the body. Infectious arthritis must be rapidly diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent irreversible joint damage.[44]

Psoriasis can develop into psoriatic arthritis. With psoriatic arthritis, most individuals develop the skin problem first and then the arthritis. The typical features are of continuous joint pains, stiffness and swelling. The disease does recur with periods of remission but there is no cure for the disorder. A small percentage develop a severe painful and destructive form of arthritis which destroys the small joints in the hands and can lead to permanent disability and loss of hand function.[45]

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, and 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.[citation needed]

Physical therapy

In general, studies have shown that physical exercise of the affected joint can noticeably improve 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.[46]

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.[47] Exercise prescribed by a physical therapist has been shown to be more effective than medications in treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Exercise often focuses on improving muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. In some cases, exercises may be designed to train balance. Occupational therapy can provide assistance with activities. Assistive technology is a tool used to aid a person's disability by reducing their physical barriers by improving the use of their damaged body part, typically after an amputation. Assistive technology devices can be customized to the patient or bought commercially.[48]

Medications

There are several types of medications that are used for the treatment of arthritis. Treatment typically begins with medications that have the fewest side effects with further medications being added if insufficiently effective.[49]

Depending on the type of arthritis, the medications that are given may be different. For example,

Psoriasis can develop into psoriatic arthritis. With psoriatic arthritis, most individuals develop the skin problem first and then the arthritis. The typical features are of continuous joint pains, stiffness and swelling. The disease does recur with periods of remission but there is no cure for the disorder. A small percentage develop a severe painful and destructive form of arthritis which destroys the small joints in the hands and can lead to permanent disability and loss of hand function.[45]

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, and 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.[citation needed]

Physical therapy

The term is derived from arthr- (from Ancient Greek: ἄρθρον, <

In 1715, William Musgrave published the second edition of his most important medical work, De arthritide symptomatica, which concerned arthritis and its effects.[71] Augustin Jacob Landré-Beauvais, a 28-year-old resident physician at Saltpêtrière Asylum in France was the first person to describe the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Though Landré-Beauvais' classification of rheumatoid arthritis as a relative of gout was inaccurate, his dissertation encouraged others to further study the disease.[72]

The term is derived from arthr- (from Ancient Greek: ἄρθρον, romanizedárthron, lit. 'joint') and -itis (from -ῖτις, -îtis, lit. ''pertaining to''), the latter suffix having come to be associated with inflammation.

The word 'arthritides' is the plural form of arthritis, and denotes the collective group of arthritis-like conditions.[73]

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The word 'arthritides' is the plural form of arthritis, and denotes the collective group of arthritis-like conditions.[73]