Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints. The inflammation can affect any of the important structures inside a joint, including the joint lining (synovium), bones, cartilage, or supporting tissues. Common symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joint. The condition may affect only one or several joints throughout the body.
Certain factors have been shown to be associated with a greater risk of arthritis. Some of these risk factors are modifiable while others are not.
a) Non-modifiable risk factors
Age: The risk of developing most types of arthritis increases with age.
Gender: Most types of arthritis are more common in women; 60% of all people with arthritis are women. Gout is more common in men.
Genetic: Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis.
b) Modifiable risk factors
Overweight and Obesity: Excess weight can contribute to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.
Joint Injuries: Damage to a joint can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in that joint.
Infection: Many microbial agents can infect joints and potentially cause the development of various forms of arthritis.
Occupation: Certain occupations involving repetitive knee bending and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
Joint symptoms and signs — The most common symptoms of arthritis include joint pain and stiffness. The most common abnormalities noted during a physical examination (signs) are tenderness, swelling, and limited movement of one or more joints. Redness of skin over the joint is sometimes present. There are two main types of arthritis: inflammatory arthritis, which is caused by rheumatic conditions, and non-inflammatory arthritis, which is caused by injury, aging, or other causes.
Inflammatory arthritis — usually causes stiffness with rest, especially morning stiffness. It often affects joints on both sides of the body.
Non inflammatory arthritis — usually causes pain that is aggravated by movement and weight bearing and is relieved by rest. Joints on one or both sides of the body may be affected.
Other symptoms and signs — A variety of other symptoms and signs can also occur in a person with arthritis, depending upon the underlying cause of the condition. Symptoms and signs may include one or more of the following:
Signs of infection or inflammation, including fever, rash, or swollen lymph nodes
Sensitivity of the hands to cold
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, results from wear and tear. The pressure of gravity causes physical damage to the joints and surrounding tissues, leading to:
Initially, osteoarthritis is non-inflammatory and its onset is subtle and gradual, usually involving one or only a few joints. The joints most often affected are the:
Risks of osteoarthritis increase with age. Other risk factors include joint trauma, obesity, and repetitive joint use.
(B) Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium (cell lining inside the joint).
Arthritis is a disease most often seen in older individuals but it also may occur in younger people, following injury or repetitive stress.
The joint consists of bone, cartilage, and connective tissue. The synovial cell layer that lines the joint produces a viscous synovial fluid in the joint space that lubricates the joint motion.
Superficial to the synovial membrane is a flexible joint capsule with ligaments and tendons. Outside the joint, bursae provide a smooth surface for muscle, tendon, and ligaments to pass over roughened bone surfaces. These joint components provide for both motion and load bearing across nearly frictionless surfaces.
Arthritis is primarily a disease of cartilage that produces a local tissue response, mechanical change, and failure of function. The disease typically affects weight-bearing joints asymmetrically
As cartilage is damaged, it becomes thinner, develops fissures or large clefts. That process leads to further decreased cartilaginous load-bearing capacity.
Gout is a painful type of arthritis that causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in the joints, especially the big toe. The pain and swelling associated with gout are caused by uric acid crystals that precipitate out of the blood and are deposited in the joint.
Cervical and Lumbar spondylosis:
Spondylosis is a degernative changes which occurs in the beginning in the bones of the spine i.e the vertebrae and the degeneration spreads to the surrounding tissues like the ligaments. This leals to protrusion of the intervertebral disc which causes compression of the nerve root leading to pain , tingling sensation in the affected area. As per the location or level of degeneration it is either termed as cervical or lumbar spondylosis.
Sciatica is basically caused by compresssion of the nerve root form l1-l5 vertebrae. it is characterised by severe intense sharp radiating type of pain in the lower limbs starting right from the gluteal muscles to the toes. the pain is along the nerve root.
At Nash Clinic, conservative treatment is provided without surgical intervention, aiming towards production of Synovial Fluid which acts as a lubricant and retarding the further damage of the cartilage. Thus, restoring the mobility of the joint