A new study conducted by a psychotherapist from the Department of Nutritional Therapy, University of Columbia, has found that more than 20 million individuals worldwide are suffering from arthritis, which reduces their physical activities a great deal. Although it is highly prevalent among the aged, it also affects people of all ages and sexes.
The researcher, Jayne Leopard a counselor and psychotherapist, finds that arthritis is usually described by 200 different rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect the body’s joints and tissue.
The term “arthritis” literally refers to the inflammation of joints. It is known to be a joint disorder whose critical symptoms are pain around the joints, swelling, severe hotness, or stiffness, fatigue, weight loss, and fever around the body, which typically worsen with age. Arthritis is said to be the most common cause of disability in the present world.
Aside from affecting the joints, arthritis also affects other organs of the body, depending on the type. Arthritis is not curable but early diagnosis and proper management can help patients carry on with normal activities without being hindered.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis with high disease activity generally have a higher risk of infections due to reduced immune function.
There are different types of arthritis; around 200 conditions affect joints, the tissues surrounding the joint, and other connective tissue. It is a rheumatic condition, and another name for arthritis is wear and tear. Although, there are 3 majorly identified types of arthritis which include, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Osteoarthritis which is the most common is caused by wear-and-tear or damage to the joint’s cartilage surrounding the bone, it often starts with roughening of cartilage. The early stage of this type of arthritis may not result in pain, but it can cause damage inside the affected joint, which results in reduced friction among the bones.
Moreover, it is said to affect more women than men, and people who suffer from osteoarthritis are mostly from age 45 and above.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting autoimmune disorder that affects the chronic inflammation of joints and other body parts. It can be caused by hereditary factors, the effects of infections, and immune systems-related problems.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients have informational, emotional, social, and practical support needs. We found an information need for various topics, e.g. exercises and medication. Patients express a need for emotional support in daily life, given through other RA patients, colleagues and supervisors, and nurses. For information needs, and emotional and social support, it is important that it is tailored to the individual needs of the patient.
Irrespective of the type of arthritis that an individual is diagnosed with, it needs to be understood that the earlier arthritis is diagnosed, the better for the patient. This is because it helps prevent permanent damage and disability. Besides, an accurate diagnosis will reveal the particular type of arthritis and increase the chances of successful treatment.
If an individual is diagnosed with arthritis and is already placed on medication or any form of treatment applicable, it is advisable for such to be in constant touch with the doctor. You should also know, that certain types of arthritis can be prevented by adhering to safety regulations of daily living and avoiding anything that will lead to joint pain or even injury.
Symptoms of Arthritis
The major symptoms observed in all types of arthritis patients are pain and burning sensation. While, other symptoms may include: Unsteady movements, poor sleep, deformity of joints, fatigue, the softness of joints, muscle aches and pains, difficulty in moving the joint, pain or ache around the joints, swelling and stiffness of joints, redness and hotness of the joints.
Neither researchers nor doctors have gotten a proper cure for this disorder. Although, there are several other treatments available for treating the inflammation of joints, it varies with the different types of arthritis. The most commonly used treatments are Medications, physical therapy, joint replacement surgery, massaging and acupressure, and non-pharmacologic therapies.