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Arthritis Overview
Arthritis is a term that includes a group of disorders that affect your joints and muscles. It literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation and limited movement of joints. When a joint is inflamed it may be swollen, tender, warm to the touch or red. Surrounding each joint is a protective capsule holding a lubricating fluid to aid in motion. Cartilage, a slippery smooth substance, covers most joints to assure an even, fluid motion of the joint. With joint arthritis, the cartilage may be damaged, narrowed and lost by a degenerative process or by inflammation making movement painful.
Arthritis can involve men, women adults and children equally. Arthritis is a chronic disease that can stay with you for a long time and possibly for the rest of your life.
There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form, osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune diseases in which the body attacks itself.
What are the common types of Arthritis? Top
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the more common types are only given below:
Primary forms of arthritis:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Gout and pseudo-gout
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Still's disease
  • Ankylosingspondylitis
Secondary to other diseases:
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Hepatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Including Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage covering the end of the bones gradually wears away. Without the protection of the cartilage, the bones begin to rub against each other and the resulting friction leads to pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but most often affects the hands and weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip and facet joints (in the spine). Osteoarthritis often occurs as the cartilage breaks down, or degenerates, with age. For this reason, osteoarthritis is sometimes called degenerative joint disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis . Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting disease that can affect joints in any part of the body but most commonly the hands, wrists, and knees. With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system -- the body's defense system against disease -- mistakenly attacks itself and causes the joint lining to swell. The inflammation then spreads to the surrounding tissues, and can eventually damage cartilage and bone. In more severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis can affect other areas of the body, such as the skin, eyes, and nerves.
Gout. Gout is a painful condition that occurs when the body cannot eliminate a natural substance called uric acid. The excess uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joints that cause swelling and severe pain. Gout most often affects the big toe, knee and wrist joints. Some of the symptoms accompanying gout are acute pain, tenderness and swelling in the affected area with permanent damage to the joints in advanced cases.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is a type of rheumatoid arthritis, which affects children upto 16 years of age. Some of the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are pain, weakness and difficulty moving the affected joints. Abnormal growth and deformities of the joints affected. The condition could lead to eye diseases such as iritis or uveitis in more severe cases.
Rheumatoid Spondylitis: This is a type of arthritis affecting the spine. Rheumatoid Spondylitis affects more males than females. The symptoms of rheumatoid Spondylitis include back pain, which flares up after intervals. Pain, tenderness and fevers also are symptoms of rheumatoid Spondylitis. In advanced stages of rheumatoid Spondylitis deformations of the hip and knees can also occur.
What are the causes of Arthritis? Top
Although the exact cause of arthritis may not be known, there are several risk factors for arthritis. (A risk factor is a trait or behavior that increases a person's chance of developing a disease or predisposes a person to a certain condition.) Risk factors for arthritis include:
The risk of developing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, increases with age. Gender. In general, arthritis occurs more frequently in women than in men.
Obesity. Being overweight puts extra stress on weight-bearing joints, increasing wear and tear, and increasing the risk of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
Work factors. Some jobs that require repetitive movements or heavy lifting can stress the joints and/or cause an injury, which can lead to arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis.
Previous injury: Any previous injury such as a fracture or a muscle, ligament or tendon injury can develop into arthritis.
Systemic diseases: Systemic conditions such as gout and lupus which are types of arthritis.
Infections: Bacterial and viral conditions such as chlamydia, mumps and human parvovirus.
Erosion of cartilage in the joints is the most common cause of arthritis. This can result in the bones rubbing against each other to cause-misshapen joints and deformities. Some congenital deformities like uneven bone structures or misalignment of bones in the joint may also cause arthritis.
What are the sign and symptoms of Arthritis? Top
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms and the symptoms vary in severity from person to person. Osteoarthritis does not generally cause any symptoms outside the joint. The signs of joint inflammation, including:
Pain , Swelling , Stiffness , Tenderness , Redness , Warmth
All types of arthritis feature pain. Pain patterns may differ depending on the arthritis and the location. Rheumatoid arthritis is generally worse in the morning and associated with stiffness; in the early stages, patients often have no symptoms after a morning shower. In the aged and children, pain might not be the main presenting feature; the aged patient simply moves less, the infantile patient refuses to use the affected limb. Arthritis can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Symptoms include fatigue, fever,and rash
Complications of the Arthritis
  • Joint stiffness.
  • Reduced physical activity: Persons with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are significantly less active than the populations as a whole.
  • Joint pain due to arthritis can limit sexual activity.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects the quality of the life. The complications of Rheumatoid arthritis include joint distraction, heart failure, lung disease, low or high platelets, spine instability etc.
  • Affected joints may worsen the ordinary tasks of the day to day life.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis complications of this disease may shorten survival in some individuals.
How is arthritis diagnosed? Top
A history of symptoms, examine the joints for inflammation and deformity, as well as ask questions about or examine other parts of the body for inflammation or signs of diseases that can affect other body areas.
Tests: Blood, urine, joint fluid, and/or X-ray tests might be ordered.
What is the role of homoeopathy in Arthritis? Top
Homoeopathic Approach: Homoeopathy follows an individualistic approach towards patients suffering from Arthritis we believe that every individual is different and thus a full in-depth case study is the first step. Then referring to the risk factors the individual was subjected too, a particular line of treatment is adopted
Broad criteria of how the homoeopathic medicines act in cases of arthritis are mentioned below. The response to treatment can differ from one individual to other patients are advised to consult so that the mode of treatment can be discussed pertaining to their particular case
Relieves Symptoms like: a.   Pain
b.   Stiffness
c.   Increases Joint Mobility
d.   Tenderness
Preventing exacerbations and attacks in certain forma of arthritis:It helps in preventing any further pain attacks thus improving overall comfortably and mobility of the patient
Controlling and reversing the underlying Disease process:
Our deep acting constitutional medicines act by stopping the demineralization and degeneration process of the bones of the joint involved. It helps in maintaining the joint space and preventing any further loss to the cartilage and synovial fluid. It also provides strength to the adjoining ligaments thus strengthening the whole joint, maintaining its space and decreasing pressure on the nerves.
In mild and moderate disease stages complete cure has been achieved, in cases were the disease process has lead to destruction of the joint as in severe cases were joint destruction and deformity has occurred homoeopathy can offer excellent palliative treatment.
If homoeopathic treatment is sought early it helps in preventing the progress of disease and preventing any complications (joint deformity) from occurring which are usually associated with the disease
We at DRSS provide our patients with diet charts, exercise schedules and guide them how to modify their lifestyle so that better results can be achieved. Our medicines can be started with conventional treatment depending upon the disease state and case.
Homoeopathic medicines if taken under proper guidance from a well-qualified professional are extremely safe and have no side effects.
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