What is arthritis?

Inflammation (arthritis) of the joints is a frequent pathology, the causes of which can be very different.
Arthritis is always accompanied by pain, impaired movement and is often the cause of disability.
It is very important when the first signs of the disease appear, immediately consult a doctor.
But even with its neglected forms with a long chronic course, the patient can be helped.

What is arthritis?

The term “arthritis” was first used by Hippocrates, and then for many centuries was used to refer to any joint diseases.
And only in the 19th century began to distinguish inflammatory diseases of the joints (arthritis) and degenerative or metabolic (arthrosis).

In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of this pathology around the world.
This is due to a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight and reduced immunity. The disease can develop at any age.
So, juvenile arthritis develops in children under 16 years of age, rheumatoid arthritis more often affects women aged 40 to 55 years, infectious and traumatic are equally common among adults and children.

what causes arthritis?

The main causes of arthritis are injuries, infections and metabolic disorders, leading to a deterioration in the nutrition of the joints.

Factors that increase the risk of arthritis:

  • genetic predisposition (peculiar exclusively to women);
  • excessive load on the joints (for example, due to sports);
  • infectious diseases;
  • caffeine abuse;
  • smoking;
  • overweight.

Pathological changes in the joint may be associated with damage to the articular cartilage covering the bones at the site of their articulation.
A similar nature of the disease is inherent in degenerative arthritis, which include, first of all, traumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Another group is formed by inflammatory arthritis.
These diseases are associated with inflammation of the synovial membrane lining the inside of the joint capsule.
Inflammatory arthritis includes, first of all:

  • infectious arthritis (direct penetration of infection into the joint);
  • rheumatoid arthritis caused by disorders in the immune system.
    As a rule, it affects the small joints of the hands, less often – larger joints (knees, ankle joints, wrist joints).
    In rheumatoid arthritis, the limbs are usually affected symmetrically;
  • gout is a disease caused by deposition of uric acid in the joints.
    Normally, uric acid is excreted by the kidneys, but if it is formed too much or the kidneys can not cope with its excretion from the body, it begins to accumulate in the joints, causing inflammation and pain;
  • reactive arthritis.
    This type of arthritis is a reaction of the immune system to an early infectious disease.
    Such a reaction can be a consequence of diseases such as gonorrhea, clamydia, dysentery, salmonellosis and some others.

Symptoms of arthritis:

The main symptoms of the disease are: joint pain, limited mobility, swelling of the articular and periarticular tissues, redness of the skin, local fever.
These symptoms may occur to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the characteristics of the course of the disease (acute, subcissive or chronic).

how to treat arthritis?

If you feel discomfort in the joint, do not postpone a visit to the doctor – it is advisable to intercept the development of arthritis and begin treatment at an early stage of the disease, before the changes in the joint have become irreversible.
Treatment of arthritis will be effective if the cause of the disease (a type of arthritis) is correctly established.

Treatment of arthritis should be systematic and complex, while it is worth tuning in for a long period of treatment.

The course of arthritis treatment is aimed primarily at:

  • elimination of the cause of the disease (excessive physical exertion, malnutrition, etc.);
  • reduction of manifestations of the disease;
  • restoration of metabolism in the joint;
  • maximum possible preservation of the function of the affected joints.

how to prevent arthritis?

Common measures to prevent arthritis include:

  • balanced nutrition and consumption of sufficient fluids;
  • rejection of bad habits (alcohol consumption, smoking, addiction to fast food);
  • weight control;
  • moderate physical education;
  • wearing comfortable shoes and clothes that do not restrain movement;
  • minimization of stressful situations;
  • timely treatment of respiratory and infectious diseases;
  • avoidance of hypothermia.

The recommended set of measures is effective not only for the prevention of arthritis, but also for other diseases, whether it is a common cold or serious disorders of the cardiovascular system.


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