THE CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND TREATMENT OF ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is a disorder of the joint, which is characterized by inflammation, pain and rigidity of the components of the affected joints. There are several type of arthritis, depending on the causes, symptoms and affected joints. These are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, septic arthritis, among others. Each of the above types of the disorder manifests itself in the affected host in a peculiar manner, though most of the symptoms are similar and thus differential diagnosis is important in detecting the exact type of the disorder in the affected joint.
Causes of arthritis
The main cause of arthritis is said to be linked to distortion of calcium metabolic pathways. Old age is linked with the distortion of these pathways and when combined with wear and tear of the joint components such as in the case of knee arthritis then the disorder is born. Genetic inheritance has also been observed to be a common cause as some types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis are said to run in families. Some types are also caused by physical injury of the joint following accidents, falls, and fractures attained say from contact sports. Overuse of the joints either occupational or from extreme exercise may also lead to arthritis.
Clinical Signs and symptoms
Pain in the joints is the most common symptom in most kinds of arthritis. It ranges from mild to severe in individual to another and may restrict movement of the affected joints. Pain is said to intensify during cold weather and can cause sleep problems to the affected individual especially during cold nights. Muscles surrounding affected joints may be weakened and exhibit loss of flexibility. They also may feel stiff and may appear swollen making it difficult to move the affected parts especially with knee or hip arthritis where walking may become extremely difficult. If not addressed early, the condition may lead to complications with increased severity and eventually disability of the affected parts.
Consult your Naples Chiropractor to determine where your pain is coming from and how to treat it. Diagnosis is simple:
The first important step in diagnosis of arthritis is physical examination of signs and symptoms. The medical history of a patient is equally important. Other tests such as X – rays and ultrasound technology assist in determining the severity of the condition and to determine the exact cause of the disorder. Blood tests are also important in detection of arthritis factors such as rheumatoid factor, antinuclear factor, and others.
Physical, surgical, and medicinal treatment
Physical therapy has been seen to be extremely helpful in arthritis cases. Exercise of the joints and muscles, and weight control are not to be left behind. In cases of degenerated joints and cartilages orthopedic bracing and even replacement surgery is done for the more severe cases. Physiatrist exercises help in pain control, increasing the range of movement in joints, and improving pain tolerance for the rather sensitive joint parts. They also improve balance, function and delay the need for surgery. Other treatments include administration of medical drugs such as opioids, and anti-inflammatory drugs.