Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints, accompanied by pain, limitation of movement and defiguration (change in appearance) of the joint.
Arthritis is a collective term that includes various diseases of the joints. If one joint is affected, they talk about monoarthritis, if several – about polyarthritis.
Arthritis can be caused by:
injuries: dislocations, bruises, fractures, penetrating wounds, injuries of the menisci in the knee joints;
infections: arthritis occurs after acute respiratory infections, intestinal infections, urethritis, cystitis, tonsillitis, etc.;
autoimmune processes: when the body begins to misperceive its own tissues, mistaking them for foreign ones, which leads to the destruction of cartilage in the joints;
metabolic disease: degenerative and dystrophic changes in the joint;
Predisposing factors for the development of arthritis can become: overweight (which increases the load on the joint), professional sports (accelerated wear of the joints), malnutrition (deficiency in the diet of amino acids glycine, proline, alanine, proteins, vitamins C, PP, K, minerals), genetic predisposition to joint diseases.
Manifestations of arthritis
Regardless of the form of arthritis, common symptoms in this disease are:
- Morning stiffness in the joints, which can last from half an hour to six hours or more. After warming up the joints, mobility improves.
- Pain in the joint, aggravated by movement.
- During an exacerbation, the skin over the joint may turn red, the joint may swell, increasing in size, and fluid may accumulate in the joint. Exacerbation of arthritis may be accompanied by general malaise, fever.
- With a long course of arthritis, the joints are often deformed, mobility worsens. Without treatment, complete immobilization of the limb, smoothing of the curves of the spine can occur, which often leads to disability.
Diagnosis of arthritis
Due to the large number of forms of arthritis, the diagnostic possibilities are very wide. Among laboratory testsuse a general blood and urine test to detect signs of inflammation, anemia (which may accompany autoimmune diseases), and exclude kidney disease. To determine the activity of the process (the degree of the inflammatory process, the aggressiveness of arthritis), rheumatic tests are analyzed, ESR (ROE) is calculated. Often, a blood test for markers of autoimmune disease and infection may be required.
Read more: Diagnosis and treatment of arthritis
Among instrumental methods The most common for the diagnosis of arthritis are radiography, MRI, CT and ultrasound of the joint. In some cases, arthroscopy may be required: a small endoscope is used to enter the joint cavity, which makes it possible to examine pathological changes inside the joint bag with the eye, take pieces of tissue for analysis, and perform therapeutic manipulations.
Treatment of arthritis
Medical manipulations should be carried out by a doctor. Self-treatment is possible only with a slight, rarely occurring pain syndrome, the absence of inflammatory changes (edema, redness, increased local and general temperature) and limitation of movement in the joint.
Arthritis pain is unbearablecontinuation of the previous activity in the presence of a pronounced pain syndrome exacerbates the condition of the joints. The main objectives of treatment: if possible, stop the effect of the causative factor (fight infection), relieve inflammation, improve the metabolism (metabolism) of the joint, ensure the restoration of cartilage tissue in the joint and prevent subsequent exacerbations. For this, both medications and methods of physiotherapy, phyto- and naturopathy, massage, physiotherapy exercises, reflexology are used. In the most extreme case, they resort to surgical treatment: cartilage transplantation, plastic surgery of the joints, and so on.
It is harmful for patients with arthritis to engage in “explosive” sports that require a sharp load, jumps, falls. Running, tennis, weight lifting, volleyball, basketball and others are contraindicated. Swimming, dosed walking, some types of dances, yoga classes according to a special program have a beneficial effect on the joints.