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World Arthritis Day 2023: Know causes, symptoms and prevention tips for the disease

Arthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a group of diseases that cause inflammation and stiffness in the joints, leading to pain and difficulty in movement. There are more than 100 types of arthritis.

Kristina Das Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: October 11, 2023 12:07 IST
world arthritis day 2023
Image Source : FREEPIK Know the causes, symptoms and prevention tips for arthritis.

Do you experience muscle stiffness? Are you struggling to perform your daily tasks comfortably because of joint swelling? If so, you may be suffering from arthritis. Indeed, that is correct! In this article, we will discuss the indications and symptoms of arthritis and provide a compilation of preventative measures.

Arthritis is a misunderstood and often underestimated condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Unlike the common perception, it is not just an ailment associated with old age. Arthritis can affect individuals of any age or gender. This chronic inflammation of joints can cause immense pain and mobility issues, making even basic daily tasks difficult to perform. It is important to recognize that arthritis exists in various forms, each having its distinguishing factors and unique impact on the affected individual. One aspect that sets arthritis apart from other conditions is its unpredictable nature. Symptoms can fluctuate over time, with occasional periods of remission followed by sudden bouts of intense discomfort. This unpredictability poses challenges for both patients and medical professionals alike when it comes to diagnosing and managing the condition effectively. Furthermore, there are also numerous types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis among others - each requiring tailored approaches to treatment.

Causes of arthritis

The cause of arthritis is genetics, according to Dr Pramod Bhor, Director of Orthopedics and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Vashi. Studies have shown that certain genes can increase the risk of developing certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. However, it's important to note that having these genes does not guarantee the development of the disease, as other environmental factors also play a role. Another potential cause of arthritis is joint injury or trauma. Damage to joints, such as fractures or ligament tears, can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Inflammation is a major player in the development and progression of arthritis. Chronic inflammation can lead to damage in the joints and surrounding tissues, paving the way for various forms of arthritis. Several lifestyle factors are known to contribute to chronic inflammation including smoking, obesity, poor diet choices (such as excessive consumption of processed foods), and lackadaisical exercise routines or sedentariness.

These are the signs and symptoms of arthritis

The initial sign of arthritis is characterized by a dull ache and burning sensation in the affected joint. This joint pain worsens with continued joint use. Arthritis-related pain can lead to joint swelling, caused by an excess of synovial fluid, which acts as a lubricant for the joint. This swelling also restricts joint movement. Some individuals may notice redness around the joints due to inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Stiffness upon waking is often experienced due to reduced lubrication in the joints, which can be influenced by factors such as cold weather or humidity, muscle weakness, loss of range of motion deformity, unexplained joint pain along with fever, inability to do the daily chores due to joint pain will also indicate arthritis.

Tips to prevent arthritis

Excess weight puts added stress on joints, increasing the risk of arthritis. By adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise, you can shed those extra pounds and reduce the strain on your joints. Incorporate strength-training exercises to build muscle around your joints for added support. Regular physical activity not only helps with weight management but also keeps your joints flexible and strong. Low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, or walking are easier on the joints. Yoga can also improve flexibility and balance while reducing joint stiffness. Take precautions to protect your joints from injuries that could potentially lead to arthritis down the line. Use proper body mechanics when lifting heavy objects and practice safe techniques during physical activities or sports participation. Wearing protective gear like knee pads, wrist guards, or appropriate footwear can significantly reduce the impact on your body's load-bearing joints.

ALSO READ: World Arthritis Day 2023: Morning Stiffness to Swelling, 6 early signs of the disease

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