Written by: Dr. Ali Khatau

Posted at: 2021-02-21 16:47:03

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. It’s basically the inflammation of one or more of your joints usually accompanied with pain. There are 100+ different types of arthritis the most common being osteoarthritis. People of all races, ages & sexes can be victims of this condition but is most common among women especially in developed countries & the elderly. WHO estimates that worldwide, around 9.6% of men and 18% of women above 60 years have osteoarthritis. According to the center for disease control & prevention (CDC) of the US, around 23% of overweight and 31% of obese adults in the US have arthritis proving its association with excess weight. What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms in cases of arthritis include: • Joint swelling • Joint pain • Joint stiffness and decreased range of motion Other symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, poor sleep patterns, tenderness and muscle aches. The symptoms may vary from mild & moderate to severe. The severity of symptoms may stay the same for many years or may progress over time and become worse. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to perform common daily tasks and difficulty in climbing stairs & walking. Arthritis can also cause permanent joint changes which may be visible such as knobby joints in fingers. These changes can often be seen on X-rays. What are the types? The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis where the cartilage at the bone ends wears away causing two bone ends to rub against each other. This leads to pain, stiffness & swelling & loss of joint strength. Osteoarthritis is common in people with a family history of arthritis, excess weight, old age & injuries like tears. Mild to moderate osteoarthritis can be managed by maintaining healthy weight, rest & regular exercise. You should also contact your doctor for professional advice. Osteoarthritis can be prevented by maintaining healthy weight, staying active & avoiding injury. Another common type of arthritis is inflammatory arthritis which presents with joint inflammation. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis & risk factors include genetics as well as environmental factors like smoking. Rheumatoid arthritis usually strikes between the ages of 20 & 40 years. How do I prevent it? • Maintain a healthy balanced diet regularly • Have regular exercise sessions • Maintain a healthy body weight • Try to avoid injuries to your joints.

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