Arthritis: Symptoms, causes, and treatments

Arthritis symptoms, causes, and treatments

Arthritis is swelling of joints that can affect a single joint or several joints. There are different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods.

There are two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Symptoms of arthritis mainly develop over time, but they can also appear suddenly.

Arthritis is usually seen in adults over 65 years of age, but it can also develop in children, adolescents, and young adults.

In rheumatic conditions, one or more joints include pain, numbness, and swelling. Symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly.

Certain rheumatic conditions may include immune system and various internal organs of the body.

Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus (SLE), can affect many organs and can cause extensive symptoms.

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Symptoms of arthritis

Joint pain, tightness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Your range of motion between joints may also be slowing down, and also you may experience redness of the skin around the joint.

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may feel tired or may experience loss of appetite due to inflammation in the activity of the immune system.

The number of red blood cells decreases in your body with a slightly low-grade fever.

Many people with arthritis notice their symptoms in the morning.

Causes of arthritis

Cartilage is a firm but flexible connective tissue in your joints that protect the joints by absorbing pressure and shock and put stress on joints while walking or running.

So the decrease in the normal amount of cartilage tissue causes some forms of arthritis.

Normal wear and tear in joints cause osteoarthritis OA, but you have a family history of illness then the risk of developing OA can be high in common forms.

Infection or injury in joints can increase this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue and can cause osteoarthritis (OA).

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder and another common form of arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the body tissues which softens the tissue in your joints called synovium (tissue that produces a fluid which nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints).

It can be also known as a disease of synovium that will invade and destroy a joint. This can eventually cause the destruction of both bone and cartilage within the joint.

Treatment of arthritis

The aim of treating arthritis is to reduce the amount of pain in the joints and prevent any damages to the joints.

Medicines cycles and lifestyle strategies can help in reducing the pain and can prevent joints from more damage.

It is also important to improve your joint work by always performing physical activity and following a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals.

Treatments of arthritis may include:
Non-medicinal or natural treatment

Arthritis can be treated by following a healthy diet plan and avoiding all bad habits such as smoking, alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Avoid refined, processed foods and pro-inflammatory animal-derived foods and add plant-based food items that are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Massage the nearby area of joint slowly every day with proper care, use ice packs or heating pad and avoid any unnecessary force or stress to your joints.

Get healthy sleep for at least 9-10 hours which help strengthen your joints and avoid sitting in the same position for a long time.

Physical treatment

Physical treatment involves rehab exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, which is a key component of arthritis treatment.

Medicines treatment

Osteoarthritis (OA) is often treated with painkillers and non-medicinal treatments.

Medicines will depend on the type of arthritis, some medicines commonly used include:


They reduce pain, but there is no effect on inflammation. Examples include acetaminophen (Tylenol), tramadol (Ultram) and oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

These reduce both pain and swelling that includes Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and Naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some NSAIDs are available in the form of creams, gels or patches that can be applied to specific joints.

Creams and ointment

Some creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, rubbing them on the skin on a painful joint can reduce the signs of pain from joints and reduce pain.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Used to treat (RA), which prevents slows immune system attacks from joints. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).


Surgery may be an option to replace your joint with artificial. This form of surgery is mostly performed to replace hips and knees.

If your rheumatoid arthritis is the most serious in your fingers or wrists, then the surgeon can make a joint fusion. In this process, the ends of your bones are closed together until they become cured and become united.

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