Everybody knows somebody who has arthritis. It is named as the number one reason why someone can’t move a certain way or do a certain activity.
There are more than 40 million people who have some form of arthritis. Let’s explore the five most common types of arthritis.
This is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis happens over time from using your joints like hands, hips, knees, and feet. These are the most common areas for osteoarthritis but it happens in other areas of the body, too.
Repetitive use of these joints such as sewing, typing, and other activities that are done over the years can cause the cartilage to wear down. When wear away occurs, bones can move against each other with no cushion. This bone friction causes pain.
What can make osteoarthritis worse is excessive body weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lessen the pain. The less weight on the affected joints, the better. There are a few things you can do to help make your life a little less painful. Using spring-loaded grippers to help you pick up or grip things can help. This will minimize the amount of bending and stooping you will need to do. Depending on the area affected, can help reduce pain and inflammation to that particular joint.
There is still a lot of research being done on rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors are not sure exactly what triggers it but it appears that the body’s immune system gets confused in some way after fighting a virus or some sort of bacteria and attacks the body. The result of this confusion is an immune system that misfires.
When this happens you end up with severe pain and, many times, bumps that appear on your skin. These bumps are called rheumatoid nodules and can be hard to the touch. In some people with severe rheumatoid arthritis, these bumps can form on the hands, fingers (especially the knuckles), elbows, knees, on the back of your head, hips, heels, and tailbone.
If they interfere with your ability to do your daily activities, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat them, may suggest steroid shots, or even surgery to decrease or remove the nodules.
The unfortunate thing about the surgery is that many times the nodules can come back. Therefore, the relief from surgery might be temporary. To make sure that you have a correct diagnosis, your doctor will run tests, including blood work, to see if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
In psoriatic arthritis, you may have psoriasis first, which manifests in red, inflamed areas of the body, and then later develop arthritis from that. This condition strikes people in their 30s but can also occur in children. This is not easy to diagnose. Your doctor will run several tests to rule out certain conditions and confirm others.
Blood work that includes an iron test, genetic markers, and making sure that you don’t test positive for rheumatoid arthritis is a first step, along with a physical examination of your affected areas.
Swollen fingers and/or toes, nail lesions, and bone formations that appear on X-rays can help doctors to confirm a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.
Most people notice they have gout when they experience a painful swollen big toe. Gout develops when your body stores more of the uric acid that your body produces than it gets rid of.
Uric acid builds up and left untreated can cause tophi, which are disfiguring lumps at the affected joint as well as kidney stones. Gout occurs more in men than in women.
Some of the things that can make gout worse include being over 40, being overweight, consuming alcohol, a diet of highly processed foods, being a diabetic, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and taking diuretics.
A gout flare-up might happen once but once you have had it, you don’t want to get it again because it is extremely painful.
As you get older, the flare-ups tend to happen more frequently and with increasing severity. While men do get gout more than women, when women do get it, it is usually after menopause.
Lupus is like psoriatic arthritis in that it can cause an uncomfortable rash that is from the body’s autoimmune system misfiring.
Mouth sores, hair loss, and sensitivity to the sun, along with painful, swollen joints are all symptoms of Lupus. Lupus occurs more in African American women of childbearing age, but it does affect men as well.
As the virus attacks, it can affect not just the joints but the body’s organs. Lupus is serious and can cause your white blood cell count to be lowered. The inflammation caused by Lupus can affect the heart and lungs and must be diagnosed and managed by a doctor.
If you are looking for health professionals who care for and treat people with different types of arthritis, contact Cano Health because they take a personalized approach to each patient’s care and treatment. They are a full-service health care facility.