General Practice 2022

Arthritis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Arthritis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Arthritis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that generates symptoms such as pain, deformity and difficulty in movement, which still has no cure. In general, its treatment is done with medication, physiotherapy and exercises, but, in some cases, surgery may be used.

Osteoarthritis, as it is also called, can be caused by trauma, excess weight, diet, natural wear and tear of the joint or due to a change in the immune system of individuals with a genetic predisposition to it.

It can be of different types, such as rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthritis (gout) or reactive arthritis, depending on its cause. Therefore, for the diagnosis of arthritis it is necessary to perform specific tests.

Arthritis symptoms

Arthritis symptoms can appear in anyone, regardless of age, however it is more common to be noticed in overweight people over 40 years old. The main symptoms are:

  • Joint pain;
  • Stiffness and difficulty moving the joint, especially in the morning;
  • Spot redness;
  • Swelling in the joint;
  • Deformation in the joint.

Symptoms can affect any joint, however it is more common to happen in the joints of the hands, feet, neck and knees, and it is important that the orthopedist is consulted so that the most appropriate treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent further more joint wear may be indicated.

Symptom Test

If you think you may have arthritis, check your symptoms and find out your risk of having the disease:

  1. 1.Constant pain in the joint, most common in the knee, elbow or fingers Yes No
  2. 2.Stiffness and difficulty moving the joint, especially in the morning Yes No
  3. 3.Hot, red, swollen joint Yes No
  4. 4.Deformed joints Yes No
  5. 5.Pain when squeezing or moving the joint Yes No


Make an appointment with a specialist

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are the same disease?

Arthritis is a term used to refer to diseases in which there is inflammation of the joints, which can happen either due to aging or as a consequence of immunological changes, infection or trauma. Osteoarthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is a type of arthritis in which cartilage wears out, which causes friction between the joints, leading to symptoms such as pain, joint stiffness and swelling, in some cases.

Main causes

The natural wear and tear of the joint is one of the most common causes of arthritis, but this disease can also be caused by excess weight, overuse, age, direct or indirect trauma, genetic factor and due to fungi, bacteria or viruses, which settle through the bloodstream in the joint, generating the inflammatory process. If this process is not reversed in time, it can lead to complete destruction of the joint and consequent loss of function.

Osteoarthritis usually starts after the age of 40, but younger people can also be affected. One type of arthritis that manifests itself in children is juvenile arthritis. However, its most common form, especially affects elderly people over 65 years of age.

How the diagnosis is made

For the diagnosis of osteoarthritis, the orthopedic doctor may, in addition to observing the clinical signs of the disease, such as joint deformity and inflammatory characteristics, request an x-ray exam to prove the local swelling and joint deformity.Examinations such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging may be necessary, but listening to the patient's complaints is usually sufficient for the diagnosis.

In some cases, the laboratory tests that may be requested by the rheumatologist, to find out which type of arthritis the person has, are:

  • Rheumatoid factor to know if it is rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Synovial fluid puncture of the affected joint to determine if it is septic arthritis;
  • Eye evaluation by the ophthalmologist to determine if it is juvenile arthritis.

Osteoarthritis does not lead to changes in the common blood count, which is why there is a popular way of saying that arthritis is not rheumatism in the blood.

Treatment for arthritis

Treatment for arthritis is basically aimed at relieving the symptoms of the disease and improving its function, because joint wear and tear cannot be fully reversed.For this, you can resort to medication and lifestyle changes, where it is recommended to avoid physical exertion. The diet should also be rich in anti-inflammatories and low in processed foods such as sausages and bacon. Check out other nutrition tips for arthritis.

The main treatments for osteoarthritis are:

1. Arthritis Remedies

Can be prescribed by the general practitioner or orthopedist Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, as well as ointments containing ketoprofen, felbinac and piroxicam, and other substances such as glucosamine sulfate or chloroquine. When these are not enough, a corticosteroid injection every 6 months or once a year can be used.

To prevent the progression of the disease, drugs such as Infliximab, Rituximab, Azathioprine or Ciclosporin, for example, may be indicated.

2. Physiotherapy for Arthritis

Physiotherapy can greatly help the patient with arthritis.Through physiotherapeutic treatment, inflammation may decrease and it will be easier to perform movements. Anti-inflammatory resources, analgesics and stretching and joint mobilization exercises can be used to preserve joint movements and prevent new deformities from setting in.

Physiotherapy should be performed at least 3 times a week, until the complete remission of arthritis symptoms. It is up to the physical therapist to decide which resources to use to treat this disease. The practice of exercises such as swimming, water aerobics and Pilates is also indicated, as they help in the fight against inflammation and help in muscle strengthening. See more details about physical therapy for arthritis.

3. Surgery for arthritis

If the doctor thinks that the joint is very worn out and there are no other inconveniences, he may suggest surgery to place a prosthesis in the affected joint.One of the joints with the most indication for surgery is the hip joint, followed by the knee joint.

4. Natural treatment for arthritis

A great natural treatment to complement the treatment recommended by the physical therapist or doctor is to drink teas and infusions of medicinal plants, such as ginger and turmeric.

Consumption of cayenne pepper and oregano daily also acts as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, as does massaging the affected areas with lavender or cat's claw essential oil.

See what natural pain relievers you can take to relieve arthritis pain:

Is arthritis curable?

Arthritis still has no cure and therefore is a chronic disease, but the individual can resort to different forms of treatment whenever it becomes painful and compromises their daily activities.

To relieve pain and improve movement capacity, a careful diet is recommended, where you drink plenty of water and avoid excessive consumption of foods rich in protein, in addition to resorting to anti-inflammatory drugs. -inflammatories, immunosuppressants, prescribed by the rheumatologist, and physiotherapy.Surgery for the placement of a joint prosthesis can, in many cases, represent the cure of arthritis in that joint, as in septic arthritis, for example, but it is not always possible.

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