What is Arthritis: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

What is Arthritis | HealthSoul

Arthritis is the 5th leading cause of disability worldwide. According to CDC and clinical studies, approximately 130 million people will be affected by arthritis globally by 2050. In the USA currently, there are more than 50 million people with arthritis and this number will reach 78.4 million by 2040. Learning about reducing the risk of arthritis and things to do so you feel your best with arthritis, is highly recommended for people.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. It is the loss of cartilage protein between the joints leading to joint destruction and pain.

What are the various types of Arthritis?

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. It has several types like osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Gout, Infectious arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.

What causes Arthritis?

  • Osteoarthritis is due to age-related wear and tear, commonly referred to as degenerative arthritis. The other risk factors for osteoarthritis are obesity, diabetes, repeated trauma to joints.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis are called autoimmune diseases. They occur due to antibodies in the blood that attack the joints.
  • Gout is due to an increased amount of uric acid in the body which leads to uric acid crystal formation in the joints.

What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

The most common symptom is joint pain. The other common symptoms are joint stiffness, joint swelling, and limitation of joint movement. With Rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis, there can be involvement of other organs of the body like skin rash, lungs, or kidneys involvement.

What are the tests needed for Diagnosing Arthritis?

The diagnosis of arthritis starts with your physical examination by your doctor. The different types of arthritis with different signs and symptoms can point your clinician towards one particular type of arthritis. There is no particular test to diagnose osteoarthritis. The other commonly taken tests are

  • X-rays of the joints
  • Blood tests like ESR, Rheumatoid factor.
  • Arthrocentesis (a procedure to remove joint fluid performed in office) can be useful to diagnose infection or gout

Can you Prevent Arthritis?

Depending on the form of arthritis, there are steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of arthritis. Maintaining an appropriate body weight has been shown to decrease the risk of developing osteoarthritis and gout. Protecting your joints from injuries or overuse can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

How can you Manage Arthritis Pain?

Both medical treatment and self-management strategies are very important. Medical treatment may have included pain medications, surgery, etc. The nonmedical options included physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractor therapy. Self-Management Program and appropriate physical activity can help reduce pain. Learn techniques needed to manage arthritis on a day to day basis and gain the confidence to carry it out.

What can you do to improve the Prevailing Condition?

CDC recommends “people with arthritis be moderately physically active for 150 minutes per week”. Physical activity decreases arthritis pain, improves people’s ability to do their usual activities, and delays disability.

What should you do if you have pain while exercising?

It’s normal for people with arthritis to experience stiffness, soreness, or aching in joints and surrounding muscles during and after exercise. Do proper warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise and exercise at a comfortable pace. Reduce the frequency/ duration as per your convenience.

What are the signs you should see your health care provider?

  • Pain is constant and causes you to limp.
  • If your pain lasts more than 2-3 hours after exercise or gets worse at with time.
  • If your joints feel hot, experience large increases in swelling or become red.
  • Persistent Fever


  • www.cdc.gov
  • https://www.rheumatology.org/
  • Updated projected prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation among US adults, 2015-2040.  Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016;68(7):1582-7. doi: 10.1002/art.39692. PubMed PMID: 27015600.