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Arthritis Treatment: Best Diet Plan, Types Of Arthritis, Symptoms, Causes

Sanya Singh

Written by Sanya Singh

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The human body struggles with a variety of symptoms on a regular basis. Most of us generally mild pain and discomfort. But avoiding little things for long can lead to multiple medical consequences. Same is with Arthritis. So, Arthritis basically is the swelling in joints and can worsen with age or if not treated.
As a fact, Arthritis affects more than 180 million people in India. And 14% of the Indian population seeks a doctor’s help every year for arthritis disease. There are several types of arthritis each with different causes including wear and tear, infections and underlying diseases. Moreover, this can also affect children.
This blog is all about Arthritis, Arthritis treatment and its types. Let’s dive into.

What Is Arthritis Disease?

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. Therefore, it can cause a range of symptoms and impair a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks.

It is important to do physical activity as it fights arthritis and helps to get rid of pain, and as a result improve health. Arthritis is very common in people and there are many types of it. Let us read more about arthritis risk factors, its types and treatments.

Arthritis Meaning In Hindi: वात रोग, गठिया, जोड़ों का प्रदाह

Risk Factors Of Arthritis

There are many factors which can increase the risk factors of Arthritis. Some of these are:

  • If your parents or siblings have arthritis, you’re more likely to develop it as well.
  • Many types of arthritis have an increased risk as people get older.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women, while gout arthritis is more common in men.
  • A person who has had a joint injury is more prone to develop arthritis in that joint.
  • Excess weight puts strain on your joints, especially your knees, hips, and spine. 
  • As a result, obese people are more likely to get arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment

The goal of arthritis treatment is to minimize symptoms and improve joint function. As a result, you may need to attempt a variety of treatments or a combination of treatments before figuring out what works best for you.

Diagnosis Of Arthritis

During the physical examination, doctors will look for swelling, redness, or warmth in your joints. They will also assess your ability to move your joints. Arthritis can be diagnosed in a variety of ways. Here are the following:

1. Laboratory tests For Arthritis Treatment

  • Doctors can determine the type of arthritis you have by analysing various types of body fluid. The most common fluids that doctors analyse are blood, urine, and joint fluid.
  • The Doctors clean and numb the region before taking a sample of joint fluid. Before withdrawing some fluid from joint area using a needle.

2. Imaging For Arthritis Treatment

imaging for arthritis treatment

However, imaging tests detect the problems within the joint that may be causing your symptoms. Its types are as below.

X-rays

  • Well, X-rays can show cartilage loss, bone damage and bone spurs. They use low levels of radiation to visualize bone.
  • Although they might not reveal early arthritic damage, they are often used to track the progression of the disease.

Computerized Tomography (CT) For Arthritis Treatment

  • CT scanners take X-rays from different angles and then combine the information to create cross-sectional views of internal structures.
  • Moreover, it can visualize both bone and the surrounding soft tissues.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) For Arthritis Treatment

  • In this process, the radio waves are combined with a strong magnetic field.
  • Therefore, MRIs can produce more-detailed cross-sectional images of soft tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Ultrasound For Arthritis Treatment

ultra sound for arthritis treatment
  • Ultrasound is a technology that uses high-frequency sound waves. These waves, image soft tissues, cartilage and fluid-containing structures near the joints.
  • Moreover, it is used to guide needle placement for removing joint fluid or injecting medications into the joint.

Arthritis Medicine

The medications used to treat arthritis, depends on the type of the disorder. Below are the commonly used arthritis medications.

1. NSAIDs

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are a few examples of it. 
  • However, stronger NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation and may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • NSAIDs are also available in the form of creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.

2. Counterirritants

  • Some menthol or capsaicin ointments also work to get relief from arthritis.
  • Rubbing ointment on the skin over aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.

3. Steroids For Arthritis Treatment

steroids for arthritis treatment
  • Steroids are given as a pill or as an injection into the painful joint. 
  • For example, steroids like prednisone, reduce inflammation, and pain. As a result prevents joint damage. 

Note: Steroids can have side effects like thinning of bones, weight gain and diabetes. So, steroids should also be taken as per doctors recommendation.

Therapy For Arthritis Treatment

  • Physical therapy is helpful for some types of arthritis. However, exercises can improve the range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. 
  • In some cases, splints or braces may also be warranted.

1. Surgery For Arthritis Treatment

Well, doctors may suggest surgery, if conservative methods don’t help.

Joint Repair

  • In some cases, joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function.
  • Therefore, these types of procedures can often be performed arthroscopically through small incisions over the joint.

Replacement Of Joint

replacement of joint under arthritis treatment
  • The joint replacement is the procedure, in which the damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one. 
  • Hips and knees joints are commonly joints, people use to get replaced.

Joint Fusion

  • This is the process which removes the ends of the two bones in the joint. Then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit. 
  • Joint fusion procedure is more often used for smaller joints. For example wrist, ankle and fingers.

Types Of Arthritis

There are many types of arthritis. Here are following:

  1. Osteoarthritis
  2. Rheumatoid
  3. Gout
  4. Juvenile idiopathic
  5. Psoriatic
  6. Reactive
  7. Ankylosing spondylitis
  8. Septic
  9. Thumb

Major and common ones are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Let go through in detail:

1. Osteoarthritis Arthritis

what is osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis that affect millions of people worldwide.
  • It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time.
  • Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, but most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis symptoms develop slowly, but can create big problems with time. Below are the common symptoms:

  • The impacted joints pain during and after movement.
  • Joint stiffness is obvious when you first wake up or after a period of inactivity.
  • When you apply light pressure to or near your joint, it feels tender.
  • You’re having trouble moving your joint through its complete range of motion.
  • When you utilise the joint, you get a grating sensation and hear a popping or crackling sound.
  • Extra bone fragments grow around the damaged joint, which feel like hard lumps.
  • This could also be due to inflammation of the soft tissues around the joint.

Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis

Factors that may increase the risk of osteoarthritis include:

  • Older Age
    The risk of osteoarthritis tends to increase with age.
  • Sex
    Although, the reason is not clear why. But women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity
    The more you weigh, the greater your risk of developing osteoarthritis is. As increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees.
  • Head Gear
    Injuries, when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even seemingly healed injuries that occurred many years ago can also increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Repeated Stress On The Joint
    If your job or a sport, places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might develop osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics
    Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis from the genes themselves.
  • Certain Metabolic Diseases
    In this condition, your body has too much iron or diabetes. 

Diagnosis Of Osteoarthritis

During the physical exam, your doctor checks your affected joint for tenderness, swelling, redness and flexibility. There are many ways to diagnose Osteoarthritis.

  • Imaging Tests
imaging tests

To get pictures of the affected joint, the following tests are suggested.

X-rays

  • Well, cartilage doesn’t show up on X-ray images. But cartilage loss is revealed by narrowing of the space between the bones in your joint.
  • However, an X-ray can also show bone spurs around a joint.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • Although, MRI is not commonly needed to diagnose osteoarthritis, but it can help provide more information in complex cases. 
  • However, it uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage.

Lab And Blood Tests

  • Analysing your blood or joint fluid can help confirm the diagnosis.
  • As a fact, there is no blood test for osteoarthritis. But certain tests can help know the other causes of joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Joint Fluid Analysis

  • In this test, doctor uses a needle to draw fluid from an affected joint.
  • Then that fluid is tested for inflammation to determine whether your pain is caused by gout or infection rather than osteoarthritis.

 Rheumatoid Arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is another common type of arthritis that affects more than just your joints. Moreover, it can damage a wide variety of body systems in some people, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include as follows:

  • There is a tender, warm, swollen joints, fatigue, fever and loss of appetite.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis at an early stage tends to affect your smaller joints first. Especially, the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.
  • With the increase in rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. 

Diagnosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages. As the early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. There is no one blood test or physical finding to confirm the diagnosis.
  • However, during the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she may also check your reflexes and muscle strength.

1. Blood Tests

  • Blood tests can be done to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Imaging Tests

  • As X-rays help to track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time, doctors might recommend you for it.
  • Whereas, MRI and ultrasound tests can also help judge the severity of the disease in your body.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

  • Although, rheumatoid arthritis has no cure. But according to the clinical studies, if the treatment starts early, it is more likely to cure.

1. Medications For Arthritis Treatment

The medications depend on the severity of the symptoms and how long you’ve had rheumatoid arthritis.

  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium relieve pain and reduce inflammation. 
  • Steroids:  Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, reduce inflammation and pain and slow joint damage. Side effects may include thinning of bones, weight gain and diabetes.
  • Conventional DMARDs: They slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage. These types of medications include methotrexate, leflunomide, sulfasalazine, etc.
DMARDs medications
  • Biologic Agents: This includes abatacept, adalimumab, and anakinra. These DMARDs are usually more effective when paired with a conventional DMARD, such as methotrexate.
  • Targeted Synthetic DMARDs: These include Baricitinib, tofacitinib and upadacitinib. This is used if conventional DMARDs and biologics haven’t been effective. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy

Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you exercises to help keep your joints flexible. The therapist may also suggest new ways to do daily tasks. Like you may want to pick up an object using your forearms. Also, use a kitchen knife equipped with a hand grip to help protect your finger and wrist joints. 

  1. Surgery

Doctors might suggest any of the following surgery if medications fail to prevent this disease.

2. Synovectomy

This surgery removes the inflamed lining of the joint which will help reduce pain and improve the joint’s flexibility.

3. Tendon Repair

tendon repair of joints

The tendons around your joint may loosen up or rupture due to inflammation or joint damage. So, your surgeon may be able to repair the tendons.

4. Joint Fusion:

This surgery is to stabilize or realign a joint when a joint replacement isn’t an option.

5. Total Joint Replacement: 

In this surgery, your surgeon removes the damaged parts of your joint and inserts a prosthesis made of metal and plastic.

Diet Plan For Arthritis Treatment

Everyone’s body is different, so single diet cannot be appropriate for everyone. It actually depends on the symptoms you have. Like in many cases citrus fruit, rice and dal doesn’t suits arthritis patients and some can easily go for it. And if its not suiting you, then you should avoid it. Other wise it can lead to multiple consequences. So, here we are framing a basic diet plan for arthritis patients to consider. People with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can follow the following meal plan.

  • Meal 1/Early Morning Meal

Gilroy juice/ methi water/ wheatgrass juice

  • Meal 2/Breakfast

Oats cheela/moong dal cheela/vermicelli/oats milk/fruit with milk(avoid citrus fruits)

  • Meal 3/Mid Moring Snack

Any fruit(except citrus fruit)

  • Meal 4/Lunch

Oats roti with any vegetable/khichdi(more dal, less rice)

  • Meal 5/Evening Drink

Ginger turmeric tea/ginger tea

  • Meal 6/Evening Snack

Roasted makhana/soup

  • Meal 7/Dinner

Any soup, saute vegetables, a bowl of dal, a bowl of fruits

  • Meal 8/Post Dinner

Ginger tulsi water

Note:

  • People with osteoarthritis should consume milk in their meals as it is good for them.
  • Also, for osteoarthritis patients citrus fruits are healthy. But as few people are allergic to them. So, therefore, they should add citrus fruits in their diet plan in restrictive manner.

How To Reduce Arthritis Risk

Follow the below steps to reduce your risk of arthritis:

  • As extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. So it is important to eat a healthy balanced diet and stay fit.
  • Keep your blood sugar in control. As high blood sugar can stiffen the tissue that supports your joints and make them more sensitive to stress. 
  • Exercising only just 30 minutes five times a week helps joints stay limber and strengthens the muscles that support your knees and hips. 
  • However, gentle stretching can improve your range of motion and keep your joints limber. So, try doing the stretching every day.
  • Most importantly, you should wear protective gear when playing sports and always lift with your knees and hips, not your back. As an injured joint is more likely to develop arthritis than one that was never injured. 
  • If you want to keep your joint healthy then you should quit smoking. As smoking puts stress on tissues that protect your joints and can lead to arthritis pain. 
  • Fish like salmon, trout and mackerel is rich in Omega-3s. This further has many health benefits and may reduce inflammation.

Fast Fact About Arthritis

  • There are more than 100 types of arthritis that mostly people are not aware of. Moreover, even experts don’t know the causes of various forms of arthritis.
  • Among US adults, arthritis is the main cause for work diability. 58.5 million US adults suffer with arthritis.

FAQs

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis characterised by severe pain, redness and tenderness in joints. Therefore, it is a common type of arthritis and affects anyone.

What Is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

This is also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and is the most common type of arthritis in children under the age of 16. This, therefore, can cause persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Well, psoriatic arthritis affects people who have psoriasis which is a disease that causes red patches of skin topped with silvery scales. However, most people develop psoriasis years before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

What Type Of Reactive Arthritis Is?

Reactive arthritis is another type of arthritis. In this, there is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of the body. However, this condition usually targets the knees, ankles and feet.

What Is The Meaning Of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that, over time, causes the bones in the spine to fuse. Further, which makes the spine less flexible, resulting in a hunched posture.

What Do You Mean By Septic Arthritis?

Septic arthritis occurs due to germs that travel through your bloodstream from another part of your body. However, it is quite a painful infection and occurs when a penetrating injury, such as an animal bite or trauma, delivers germs directly into the joint.

What Is Thumb Arthritis?

Thumb arthritis is a common type that usually tends to occur with ageing. So, when cartilage wears away from the ends of the bones it forms the joint at the base of your thumb also known as the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint.

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Bottom Line

Arthritis as discussed is of several types and can affect any age group. It is, therefore, important to take care while playing or performing any sort of physical activity. Also, make sure to follow a proper diet during arthritis disease By Fitelo’s best dietitians. Make sure you consult a doctor on time as soon as you feel that there is pain or any sort of discomfort in your joints.

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