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Definition of arthritis

This is the inflammation of one or several joints in the body. Arthritis has over 100 types and therefore it is important for a proper diagnosis to be made to identify the type affecting an individual.

Common causes of arthritis
The most common causes are trauma to the joint, joint infections and old age. There are some types of arthritis that are associated with autoimmune diseases. This condition is the most common cause of disability in many developed countries.

Symptoms of arthritis
All types of this condition have some form of symptoms that are similar. This is why it is important to visit the physician to identify which type it is. Additional tests such as blood and radiological tests can be carried out to make the proper diagnosis.
These symptoms are:

Reduced ability in the use of limbs
Feelings of unease and easily getting tired after a simple activity
Loss of weight
Lack of or poor sleeping patterns
Pain in the muscles
Problematic movement of the joints
Weakness of the muscles
Reduced flexibility
Reduction of aerobic capabilities
The limitations in movement make the patient susceptible to sedentary lifestyle diseases like weight and heart complications. They are further prone to depression because of the fear of the symptoms getting worse.
Treatment of arthritis
Treatment options depend on the type of arthritis. These include physical therapy, changes in exercises and feeding habits to control weight, wearing of orthopedic braces, drugs and in some cases the joint may need surgical replacement.

Long term relief of pain can be achieved by regular exercise to the affected joint. In some cases the patient needs occupational therapy in addition to exercises. Physical therapy has been shown to improve joint function, reduce pain and postpone surgical procedures to the affected joints.

They work better than medication because they also rejuvenate the whole body and increase muscle strength and function. Medication can be used in some cases and physicians normally start with mild drugs with little side effects and progress as the condition progresses.