What is arthritis?
The word arthritis is used to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints. Arthritis isn’t a single condition and there are several different types.
Around 10 million people in the UK are thought to have arthritis. It can affect people of all ages – even children and teenagers. Some forms of arthritis are more common in older people.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for If you have pain in or around a joint or joints that doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see a doctor. Finding out what’s causing your pain is key to finding the right treatment and self-help options.
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there’s a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage.
It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis. There are for 1 last update 2020/07/02 several factors that can increase the risk of each type of arthritis. It could be that the genes you inherited from your parents or grandparents made you more likely to get arthritis.It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis. There are several factors that can increase the risk of each type of arthritis. It could be that the genes you inherited from your parents or grandparents made you more likely to get arthritis.
Arthritis can make life tough by causing pain and making it harder to get about. The symptoms of arthritis can vary from week to week, and even from day to day. Many types, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are long-term conditions.
However, with the right treatment and approach you can manage your symptoms.
Whatever condition you have, remaining physically active will help you stay mobile and will be good for your general health.
What is a joint and how does it work?
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for A joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, knees, and shoulders. Joints hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.
Most of the joints in our body are surrounded by a strong capsule. The capsule is filled with a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. These capsules hold our bones in place. They do this with the help of ligaments. These are a bit like very strong elastic bands.
The ends of the bones within a joint are lined with cartilage. This is a smooth but tough layer of tissue that allows bones to glide over one another as you move.
If we want to move a bone, our brain gives a signal to the muscle, which then pulls a tendon, and this is attached to the bone. Muscles therefore have an important role in supporting a joint.
Because there are several types of arthritis, it’s important to know which one you have. There are some similarities between these conditions, but there are also some key differences.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is estimated that around 8.75 million people in the UK have seen a doctor about osteoarthritis.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for Osteoarthritis starts with the roughening of cartilage.
If this happens, the body can put in place a ‘repair’ process to try to make up for the loss of this important substance. The following can then happen:
- Tiny bits of extra bone, called osteophytes, can grow at the ends of a bone within a joint.
- There can be an increase in the amount of thick fluid inside the joint.
- The joint capsule can stretch, and the joint may lose its shape.
Sometimes, the early stages of osteoarthritis can happen without causing much pain or trouble. However, it can lead to damage inside a joint, as well as pain and stiffness.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for Osteoarthritis is more common in women and usually affects people from the age of 45 onwards. The parts of the body most commonly affected are the knees, hands, hips, and back.
Keeping active will help you maintain a healthy weight, and this will reduce the pressure on your joints. Doing regular exercise will keep muscles around a joint strong, and this will help to support and stabilise a joint affected by osteoarthritis.
Being overweight can make you more likely to get osteoarthritis and can make it worse.
Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen can help reduce your symptoms and allow you to stay active. Keeping active will also reduce pain, stiffness and swelling.
There are NSAID creams that you can rub into the affected area. It might be an idea to try these first.
There is a range of pain relief options available. If you’re finding the pain of osteoarthritis difficult to cope with, a doctor or physiotherapist would be able to give you specific advice.
If your osteoarthritis becomes severe, particularly in your knees and hips, your doctor might discuss with you the possibility of surgery. This is usually considered only after you’ve tried all the other treatment options.
Joint replacements are now very sophisticated and successful.
Gout and calcium crystal diseases
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body.
Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.
It’s caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body. We all have a certain amount of urate in our body.
However, being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout.
If it reaches a high level, urate can form into crystals that remain in and around the joint. They can be there for a while without causing any problems and even without the person realising they are there.
A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.
There are drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks. Examples are allopurinol and febuxostat. If you’re having a gout attack, you’ll also need short-term pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as paracetamol can be good drugs to try first.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women it’s more common after the menopause. Taking water tablets can increase the risk of gout.
There are also conditions that cause calcium crystals to form in and around joints.
We all need calcium to make bones and teeth strong. However, some people can have too much calcium in their bodies, which can then form as crystals around joints. This can lead to painful swelling.
Calcium crystal diseases tend to clear up on their own. Taking painkillers and NSAIDs, and applying an ice pack wrapped in a damp towel, can soothe the pain and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It is what is known as an auto-immune condition.
The immune system is the body’s natural self-defence system, and it protects us from infections and illness. When someone has an auto-immune condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy tissues, such as the joints, causing inflammation.
Inflammation is normally an important tool in the immune system. It occurs when the body sends extra blood and for 1 last update 2020/07/02 fluid to an area to fight an infection. This is what is happening for example if you have a cut that gets infected, and the skin around it becomes swollen and a different colour.Inflammation is normally an important tool in the immune system. It occurs when the body sends extra blood and fluid to an area to fight an infection. This is what is happening for example if you have a cut that gets infected, and the skin around it becomes swollen and a different colour.
However, in rheumatoid arthritis the inflammation and extra fluid in a joint can cause the following problems:
- It can make moving the joint difficult and painful.
- Chemicals in the fluid can damage the bone and joint.
- The extra fluid can stretch the joint capsule. Whenever a joint capsule is stretched, it never quite returns to its original position.
- Chemicals in the fluid can irritate nerve endings, which can be painful.
As well as causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint. Starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include:
- swollen and tender joints
- swelling and stiffness in joints in the morning that lasts for longer than half an hour
- severe tiredness, also called fatigue
- a general feeling of being unwell.
Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in the small joints of the hands and feet, and it can affect the same joints on both sides of the body at the same time. It can start quite slowly and then gradually get worse, or it can start more aggressively.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect adults of any age. It most commonly starts among people between the ages of 40 and 60. It’s more common in women than men.
There are drugs that can slow down an over-active immune system and therefore reduce the pain and swelling in joints. These are called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and include biological therapies.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, treatment will start with conventional DMARDs. These can have the overall effect of reducing the activity of your immune system, which is overactive and causing damage to your body.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for If these drugs have been tried and don’t work, doctors will look at the possibility of trying the newer biological therapies. Biological therapies have a more targeted effect on the immune system.
Spondyloarthritis is a word used to describe a number of conditions that cause pain and swelling, mainly around the joints of the spine.
In these conditions there is inflammation of small pieces of connective tissues, called entheses. These are tough little cords that join either ligaments or tendons to bones.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for Ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of spondyloarthritis and it causes pain and swelling, mainly around the joints of the spine.
In this condition, in response to inflammation around the spine, the body can create more of the mineral calcium. This mineral is normally used by the body to make bones strong. However, in ankylosing spondylitis the extra calcium can make new bits of bone grow in the spine, and this will cause pain and stiffness.
This condition typically causes pain in the second half of the night, and swelling of your back in the morning that lasts for more than half an hour.
There are drugs that can slow this process down. Keeping active will help to minimise stiffening of the spine, while maintaining a good posture will help prevent increased curving of the spine.
Ankylosing spondylitis usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 30. It is more common among men.
Psoriatic arthritis is an auto-immune condition. It is also a type of spondyloarthritis.
The body’s immune system can cause painful swelling and stiffness within and around joints, as well as a red scaly skin rash called psoriasis. The rash can affect several places in the body, including the elbows, knees, back, buttocks and scalp.
It is also common to have for 1 last update 2020/07/02 severe tiredness, otherwise known as fatigue.It is also common to have severe tiredness, otherwise known as fatigue.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological therapies can treat the cause of the inflammation in joints. There is also a variety of treatments, such as creams and medications, for psoriasis.Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological therapies can treat the cause of the inflammation in joints. There is also a variety of treatments, such as creams and medications, for psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis usually affects people who already have psoriasis. However, some people develop the arthritis before the psoriasis. It’s possible to have the arthritis but no psoriasis at all.
This condition can affect people of any age, but tends to affect adults.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
If someone is diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis before their sixteenth birthday, it’s called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or JIA.
There are different types of JIA. They are auto-immune conditions, and the immune system can cause pain and swelling in joints.
The earlier someone is diagnosed with JIA, the better. This is so that effective treatment can be started and limit any damage to the body.
There are drugs that can treat the symptoms, such as painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological therapies can slow down or stop the arthritis causing the swelling inside the body.
There are about 12,000 young people in the UK who have JIA.
Should I see a doctor?
It’s common to have aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time. This may especially be true if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities.
So, how can you tell the difference between the early signs of arthritis and normal pain and stiffness? And, how do you know when you should see a doctor about your symptoms?
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It’s difficult to say for certain how arthritis will affect you over time. In some types of arthritis symptoms can come and go.
Most people with arthritis don’t have major mobility problems, and effective treatment will help reduce the risk of joint damage, even in more severe cases.
There is plenty you can do to remain positive and proactive in all aspects of managing your arthritis and your overall health.
If you’re worried about what impact arthritis will have on your working life, it’s important to know that you have rights and options.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for If you work your arthritis might mean that you need to change aspects of your job or even train for a different role.
Your employer has a duty to make sure that your arthritis doesn’t make it difficult for you to do your job, or that you’re uncomfortable at work. Having a chat with your manager about your condition, how it affects you, and how your employer might be able to help you is a useful first step to unlock the rights the 1 last update 2020/07/02 and support you’re entitled to by law.Your employer has a duty to make sure that your arthritis doesn’t make it difficult for you to do your job, or that you’re uncomfortable at work. Having a chat with your manager about your condition, how it affects you, and how your employer might be able to help you is a useful first step to unlock the rights and support you’re entitled to by law.
Being in pain from arthritis can often lead to anxiety and depression. It’s important to tackle feelings like this, because they can affect how well you manage your condition.
Talking to your partner, relative, friend, or a doctor can really help. You might find it helpful to try something like cognitive behaviour therapy, or mindfulness. These are talking therapies that have helped people cope better with the effects of arthritis.
If you have arthritis it does have the potential to have an impact on your quality of life. However, with the right treatment, support, knowledge and approach, you will be able to live a fulfilling, happy and successful life.
The more you’re able to stay physically and socially active the more the 1 last update 2020/07/02 control you’ll have over your life, and the less control arthritis will have over you.The more you’re able to stay physically and socially active the more control you’ll have over your life, and the less control arthritis will have over you.
knee pain therapy home remedieshow to knee pain therapy home remedies for the 1 last update 2020/07/02 WorkWork
Having arthritis may pose some challenges in work, you can get support to help from your employer, Government programmes the 1 last update 2020/07/02 and other organisations.Having arthritis may pose some challenges in work, you can get support to help from your employer, Government programmes and other organisations.