Know About Arthritis
Q. What is arthritis?
The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation ("arthr-" means joint; "-itis" means inflammation). It refers to more than 100 different diseases. These diseases usually affect the area in or around joints such as muscles and tendons. Some of these diseases can also affect other parts of the body including the skin and internal organs. There are many types of arthritis. Most forms of arthritis are chronic which means they may last a lifetime.
Q. What are the most common types of arthritis?
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. It is crucial to identify and understands which type of arthritis an individual has. If you don't know which type you have, call your doctor or ask during your next visit/ visit to know more. Some common types of arthritis are mentioned below.

• Osteoarthritis The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It affects many of us as we grow older. It is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it involves the breakdown of cartilage and bones. This causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis usually affects the fingers and weight-bearing joints including the knees, feet, hips and back. It affects both men and women and usually occurs after the age of 45 years. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, joint protection, pacing your efforts, self-help skills and sometimes surgery.
• Rheumatoid arthritis In rheumatoid arthritis, a fault in the body's defense or immune system causes inflammation or swelling. Inflammation begins in the joint lining and then damages both cartilage and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows can be affected. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying drugs, exercise, saving energy, joint protection, self-help skills and sometimes surgery.
• Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia affects muscles and their attachments to bone. It results in widespread pain and tender points which are certain places on the body that are more sensitive to pain. It also may result in fatigue, disturbed sleep, stiffness and sometimes psychological distress. Fibromyalgia affects mostly women. It is common and often misdiagnosed. Treatments include exercise, relaxation techniques, pacing your activities and self-help skills.
• Bursitis and tendinitis Bursitis and tendinitis result from irritation caused by injury or overuse of a joint. Bursitis affects a small sac that helps muscles move easily; tendinitis affects the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs and exercise.
• Other types of arthritis There are many more types of arthritis and related diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus erythematosus.
Q. My Uric Acid levels are deranged. Am I suffering from Gout?
Uric acid crystals, which form when there's too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Gout usually affects the big toe, knees, and wrists. More men than women have gout. The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly, and often at night. They include:
1. Intense joint pain: Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can occur in any joint. Other commonly affected joints include the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first four to 12 hours after it begins.
2. Lingering discomfort: After the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are likely to last longer and affect more joints.
3. Inflammation and redness: The affected joint or joints become swollen, tender, warm and red.
4. Limited range of motion: As gout progresses, you may not be able to move your joints normally. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and special gout drugs and sometimes a diet low in purines. Foods such as organ meat, beer, wine, and certain types of fish contain high levels of purines. If you experience sudden, intense pain in a joint, reach the doctor on an immediate basis. Gout that goes untreated can lead to worsening pain and joint damage. Seek medical care immediately if you have fever and the joint is hot and inflamed, which can be a sign of infection. Visit to know more.
Q. I am suffering from persistent lower back pain. Should I consult a doctor?
Low back pain results from a back injury or certain types of arthritis. Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the United States. It can occur at any age in both men and women. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, joint protection, pacing your activities and self-help skills.
Q. What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:
• Pain
• Stiffness
• Swelling
• Redness
• Decreased range of motion
Q. What causes arthritis?
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. What causes most types is unknown. Because there are so many different types, there are likely to be many different causes. Scientists are currently researching the role of three major factors in certain types of arthritis. These include the genetic factors you inherit from your parents, what happens to you during your life and how you live. The importance of these factors varies for every type of arthritis. For information about known arthritis risk factors, visit the
Q. Am I at risk for arthritis?
Certain factors make it more likely that you will develop arthritis. You may develop arthritis if you:
1. Have a family history of arthritis.
2. Have a job or play a sport that puts repeated stress on your joints.
3. Have certain autoimmune diseases or viral infections.
Q. Are people with arthritis more likely to develop complications from the flu?
If you have a form of inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may be more likely to develop complications from the flu than most people. Flu-related complications may include:
• Sinus infections
• Ear infections
• Bronchitis
• Pneumonia People with inflammatory arthritis are more vulnerable to flu-related complications because they have weakened immune systems. These forms of arthritis and some of the medications used to treat them can both weaken the immune system.
Q. Can children get arthritis?
Yes, children can get arthritis. The most common type of arthritis found in children is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Signs and symptoms of childhood arthritis may include:
• Joint pain
• Swelling
• Fever
• Stiffness
• Rash
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Loss of appetite
• Inflammation of the eye
• Difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing. Childhood arthritis causes permanent damage to the affected joint or joints. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important to prevent or minimize permanent damage. There is no cure for childhood arthritis, but some children with childhood arthritis achieve permanent remission, which means the disease is no longer active.
Q. Can I prevent arthritis?
You can reduce your risk of getting some types of arthritis by changing risk factors you can control. Risk factors include:
1. Age: The risk of arthritis increases as you get older.
2. Lifestyle: Smoking or a lack of exercise can increase your risk of arthritis.
3. Sex: Most types of arthritis are more common in women.
4. Weight: Obesity puts extra strain on your joints, which can lead to arthritis.
Q. What should I do if I think I have arthritis?
Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around one or more of your joints.
Q. How is arthritis diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose arthritis using the patient’s medical history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood tests. It is possible to have more than one form of arthritis at the same time. There are many forms of arthritis and diagnosing the specific type you have can help your doctor determine the best treatment. The earlier you understand your arthritis, the earlier you can start managing your disease, reducing pain, and making healthy lifestyle changes. Dr. Dangs lab's Arthritis Profile assesses the several reasons why an individual could be having pain in the bones or joints. This profile confirms the Rheumatoid Arthritis factor (RA), and also has a vitamin check, markers for inflammation, and autoimmune disease screening (ANA). These assist the clinician in making a definite diagnosis. The detection of anti-CCP antibodies confirms the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, establishes a prognosis for the progression of the disease, and helps determine the best possible treatment. Visit for detailed information.
Q. How is arthritis treated?
The focus of arthritis treatment is to:
• Control pain.
• Minimize joint damage.
• Improve or maintain physical function and quality of life. In inflammatory types of arthritis, it is also important to control inflammation. According to the American College of Rheumatology, arthritis treatment can include medications, nondrug therapies such as physical exercise or patient education, and sometimes surgery.
Q. What can I do to manage my arthritis?
The patient is the most important member of the health care team. The patient plays an important role in his or her medical care. The patient can contribute to the success of a treatment plan by:
1. learning about arthritis
2. following through with treatment
3. reporting progress and setbacks to health team
4. keeping a positive attitude
5. developing relationships with the rest of the health care team Keeping a positive attitude, though sometimes difficult, is an important ingredient in overcoming arthritis. Asking questions and finding out as much as you can about of arthritis and its treatment is important. So talk over your concerns with your doctor. If you still need more information (or if you have difficulty talking to your doctor), ask the nurse, physical therapist, social worker, occupational therapist to help you find answers to your questions.
Q. Can I exercise with arthritis?
Arthritis-friendly physical activity is good for people with arthritis. Regular physical activity can:
• Help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness.
• Give you more energy.
• Lift your mood and make you feel more positive. Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.
Q. What should I do if I have pain when I exercise?
It’s normal to have some pain, stiffness, and swelling after starting a new physical activity program. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for your joints to get used to your new activity level, but sticking with your activity program will result in long-term pain relief. Here are some ways to manage your pain while your joints adjust to your new activity level.
• Tips for managing your pain during and after exercise:-
A. Until your pain improves, modify your physical activity program by exercising less frequently (days per week), for shorter periods of time (amount of time each session), or with less intensity.
B. Try a different type of exercise to reduce pressure on your joints- for example, switch from walking to water aerobics.
C. Do proper warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise.
D. Exercise at a comfortable pace, you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
E. Make sure you have good-fitting, comfortable shoes. See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
• Pain that is sharp, stabbing, and constant.
• Pain that causes you to limp.
• Pain that lasts more than 2 hours after exercise or gets worse at night.
• Pain or swelling that does not get better with rest, medication, or hot or cold packs.
• Increase in swelling or if your joints feel hot and turn red.
Q. Does being overweight affect arthritis?
It is important for people with arthritis to maintain a healthy weight. For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces pressure on joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can reduce pain and improve function for people with arthritis. At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity, and diet changes can help you lose weight.
Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. Nearly 60 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older. Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but can progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion.