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Arthritis Joint Pain Causes and Treatment

Many people tend to think that all pain in the joints, if the causes of which are not easily pinpointed like tennis elbow, is arthritis. And they may be right. With more than 100 types of arthritis affecting about 46 million Americans, at least one or two may be applicable to their complaints.

Two major types of arthritis

Two general classifications of arthritis exist: osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The first is also called degenerative arthritis, being characterized by the wearing out of the cartilage in the joints, while the second is caused by a malfunctioning immune system that results to inflammation of the joints.

Osteoarthritis vs. rheumatoid arthritis

As a person gets older, the condition of the body cells degenerate, and the replacement cells gradually lessen in quality. It affects almost all parts of the body including the cartilage in the joints, which gets thinner or loses its slippery characteristic thus reducing the freedom of movement of the joint bones. As the cartilage wears out, movement of the bones become rough and painful, sometimes with some grating sound and feel to it. Inflammation is not a common symptom of osteoarthritis, but there may be some in the lining as reaction to cartilage deterioration.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by the immune system attacking the joints for reasons that are as yet undetermined. Some scientists believe that the attacks are caused by the immune system being ‘confused’ after bacterial or viral onslaughts, and consider protein as alien intruders. The immune cells, called lymphocytes, then release the cytokines TNF (tumor necrosis factor) and interleukin-1, the chemicals that cause inflammation and protein elimination.

Comparative symptoms

Osteoarthritis is most often found in load-bearing joints such as the knees, feet, hips and spine. It develops slowly over time, months and even years, first with some stiffness, then pain in the morning that gradually stays longer and longer. Difficulty in dressing, gripping items, bending over or sitting and fatigue are common symptoms. Some experience swelling or warmth in the affected joints and pain when walking.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are usually severe pain, inflammation and stiffness of the joints. These can lead to tiredness, appetite loss and sometimes fever. Affliction occurs symmetrically; that is, if a joint in one side of the body is affected, that on the other side will be affected as well.

Treatment

Home remedies for both types of arthritis may involve topical creams and heat or cold applications to alleviate the symptoms. For osteoarthritic patients, food supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin may help in some but not in other cases. Fish oil supplements may also reduce the inflammation; weight reduction can relieve arthritic pressure pain in the knees; warm water or paraffin soaks might prevent morning stiffness and pain, and acetaminophen medications can ease the painful effects of arthritis. Also, a pure 100% natural pill which helps in Arthritis treatment is flexcin.

For medical treatment, aspirin may be enough for some, but for others, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may be the correct medication. In addition to conventional chemical medicine, some natural remedies and medicine exist that are equally effective and do not cause side effects.  But as always said: If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

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