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Arthritis. Types, Symptoms & Treatment

Joint damage is a result of the illness known as arthritis. Your body has joints, which are the points where two bones join. As you age, some joints naturally deteriorate. Many suffer from arthritis as a result of that every day, lifetime wear and tear. Certain forms of arthritis develop following joint-damaging injuries. Arthritis is also a result of certain medical conditions. Arthritis is common in joint of

  • Knees
  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Shoulders
  • Feet and Ankles
  • Lower back
  • Hips

But a medical professional will assist you in managing pain and stiffness-causing symptoms. But if arthritis prolongs it will results in joint replacement surgery.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that cause pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but some of the most common are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) – the most common type, caused by wear and tear of the joint cartilage, often developing after age 50.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the joints, typically affecting the same joints on both sides of the body.
  • Psoriatic arthritis – can occur in people with the skin condition psoriasis, affecting the skin, joints and areas where tissues attach to bone.
  • Gout – caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, often affecting the big toe.
  • Lupus – This autoimmune condition is chronic. It damages tendons, joints, and organs, causing periods of inflammation.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – The disease results in the growth of the spine’s bones together. Inflammation in other body parts is another possible effect of it. It can impact the small joints in the hands and feet, as well as the shoulders, hips, and ribs.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) – Children with this type of arthritis experience joint stiffness and inflammation. JIA frequently outgrows children. However, it may impact a developing child’s bone development.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The most typical signs and symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Joint pain
  • Reduced range of motion, or stiffness in a joint’s range of motion
  • Edoema (an inflammation)
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Pain or discomfort around a joint when touched
  • Feeling heat around a joint

The type of arthritis you have and the joints it affects determine where you experience symptoms. Flares, also known as flare-ups, are periodic waves of symptoms caused by certain types of arthritis. Others cause constant pain or stiffness in your joints, especially after physical activity.

Causes of Arthritis

Causes of Arthritis

The causes of arthritis differ based on the type you have:

  • Osteoarthritis – As you age, osteoarthritis develops naturally because years of use can gradually wear down the cartilage that cushions your joints.
  • Hyperuricemia – If your blood contains an excessive amount of uric acid (hyperuricemia), you may develop gout.
  • Immune system – When your immune system unintentionally damages your joints, it can result in arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Viral infections – Viral arthritis can be brought on by specific viral infections, such as COVID-19.
  • Without a cause – Arthritis can occasionally occur without a cause or trigger. Physicians refer to this as idiopathic arthritis.

Risk factors for Arthritis

The following are some arthritis risk factors that are unavoidable or unchangeable:

  • Age – You are more likely to develop arthritis as you age.
  • Gender – Women are more likely to suffer from arthritis as compared to men
  • Genetics – Specific genes are associated with specific types of arthritis.

The factors that are in control are as follows;

  • Mass – Obesity or being overweight can cause damage to your knee joints.
  • Injury – Arthritis is more likely to develop later on in a joint that has been injured.
  • Infection – Following an infection, joints may be affected by reactive arthritis.
  • Your position – Knee arthritis can result from repetitive bending or squatting at work.

Arthritis ICD 10

Arthritis ICD-10 codes are used for coding and identifying different types of arthritis in medical records. In the ICD-10 system, arthritis is classified under various codes based on specific characteristics.

For example:

  • 0 represents polyarthritis, unspecified
  • 89 is used for other specified arthritis affecting multiple sites
  • M15-M19 cover osteoarthritis
  • M19 specifically referring to other and unspecified osteoarthritis

These codes play a crucial role in accurately documenting and managing arthritis conditions in healthcare settings.

How Arthritis is diagnosed?

Your physician takes your medical history and then examine you physically and by conducting different tests.

Blood tests

Following blood tests are taken for diagnosis of arthritis:

  • CBC Test – This test includes complete blood count including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets level.
  • ANA Test – This is antinuclear antibody test, it checks antibody levels in the blood
  • Sedimentation rate – In this test, inflammation is counted.
  • Creatinine – This test is taken for kidney diseases.
  • Hematocrit – This test counts the red blood cells level in the blood.
  • WBC count – This test calculates the white blood cells in the blood.
  • Uric Acid – This test is conducted for the diagnosis of Gout.
  • RF & CCP test – Rheumatoid factor and Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide antibody test is taken for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Other tests

Many other tests are taken such as;

  • X-Rays or Imaging test – It tells about how damage the joint is?
  • Urine test – This test is taken to check protein and different cells.
  • Muscle Biopsy – In muscle biopsy tissues are examined and find the affected muscle.
  • Skin Biopsy – Lupus or Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed by using Skin biopsy.
  • HLA tissue typing – This test is conducted for Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Joint Aspiration – Small amount of synovial fluid is extracted from joints and is examined to check any bacteria or virus.

Treatment for Arthritis

The course of treatment will be determined by your age, overall health, and symptoms. Additionally, the kind and severity of your arthritis will determine how things turn out. Each patient and their healthcare provider create a personalized treatment plan.

Arthritis has no known treatment. Often, the aim of treatment is to reduce discomfort and inflammation while supporting healthy joint function. Plans for treatment frequently combine short- and long-term strategies.

Short term strategies

Treatments for the short term include:

  • Drugs – Painkillers like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Both heat and cold – Applying dry heat (heating pad) or moist heat (warm bath or shower) to the joint can reduce pain. Ice packs can also reduce pain and swelling in the joints.
  • Immobilization in Joint – A brace or splint can help a joint rest and be shielded from further damage.
  • Massage – Applying a light massage to sore muscles can improve blood flow and generate warmth in the area.
  • TENS – Using a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine can help lessen pain. The painful region’s nerve endings receive mild electrical pulses from the device. This alters how pain is perceived by the brain by blocking pain signals.
  • Acupuncture – This involves inserting tiny needles at predetermined body locations. It might trigger the nervous system’s natural painkilling chemicals to be released. A licensed healthcare professional performs the procedure.

Long term strategies

Long term treatment includes;

  • Steroids – Corticosteroids lessen swelling and inflammation. Drugs such as prednisone, can be taken orally or injected into blood through veins.
  • Hyaluronic acid therapy – Hyaluronic acid injections are used to treat knee pain caused by arthritis
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs – medications that modify the rheumatic disease (DMARDs). These prescription drugs may both treat any immune system issues associated with the disease and slow down its progression. Examples of such drugs are as Sulfasalazine, chlorambucil, hydroxychloroquine and Methotrexate.
  • Surgery – There are many surgical methods that are used for defected joints. Joint replacement, fusion, or arthroscopy are possible surgical options. Following surgery, recovery can take up to six months. Following surgery, a rehabilitation program is a crucial component of the treatment.

Summary

Arthritis is a broad term that encompasses over 100 conditions affecting the joints, tissues surrounding the joints, and other connective tissues. It is characterized by inflammation, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly and may impair a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.

Arthritis treatment

FAQ’s

1: Does cracking your fingers and toes cause arthritis?

No, cracking your fingers and toes does not cause arthritis. Several studies have concluded that there is no link between knuckle cracking and the development of arthritis.

By cracking your knuckles or toes, the bones of the joint become pull apart and it cause gas bubbles in the joints. This bubble formation and collapse is what produces the cracking or popping sound. While repetitive knuckle cracking may cause temporary soreness or swelling of the joint, it does not lead to permanent damage or arthritis.

2: Does popping knuckles cause arthritis?

No, popping or cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis. Several studies have compared rates of hand arthritis between habitual knuckle crackers and people who don’t crack their knuckles, and found no significant connection.

The “popping” sound is caused by bubbles bursting in the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. When you crack a knuckle, the stretching of the joint capsule lowers the pressure inside and creates a vacuum filled by gas previously dissolved in the fluid, forming a bubble that then bursts.

3: Can you get arthritis from cracking your neck?

Occasional gentle neck cracking is likely harmless, but excessive or forceful cracking may potentially cause problems. The main cause of neck arthritis is age-related degeneration over time, not cracking itself. If you suffer from this then consult with your doctor.

 4: What vitamins are good for arthritis?

Vitamins that are beneficial for arthritis include Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E can help prevent damage in the cells of bones and joints and has anti-inflammatory properties. Good sources of Vitamin E include plant oils, wheatgerm, sunflower seeds, nuts, and avocado.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, which keeps bones strong, and it also helps fight inflammation. Research shows that people with rheumatoid arthritis often have lower levels of Vitamin D, and increasing intake may help alleviate symptoms.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA found in fish oils, can help control inflammation and may benefit those with inflammatory arthritis. They are known to reduce arthritis pain and joint stiffness.

These vitamins play a role in managing arthritis symptoms and promoting joint health. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have specific health conditions or are taking medications that may interact with these vitamins.

5: Are tomatoes bad for arthritis?

For those who have arthritis, tomatoes are a nutritious food option. They are abundant in nutrients, including vitamins C and K, antioxidants like lycopene, and other substances that may help lower inflammation and promote joint health. Maintaining a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is usually advised if you have arthritis.

 

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