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Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is the area where two bones meet. There are over 100 different types of arthritis.

TYPES

  • Mono arthritis
  • Poly arthritis

Mono arthritis includes:

  • Pyogenic arthritis
  • Tubercular arthritis
  • Hemophilic arthritis
  • Secondary osteo arthritis
  • Gout

Poly arthritis includes:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatic arthritis
  • Juvenile chronic poly arthritis
  • Primary osteoarthritis

CAUSES
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when you walk. Without the normal amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

Joint inflammation may result from:

  • An autoimmune disease (the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue)
  • Broken bone
  • General "wear and tear" on joints
  • Infection, usually by bacteria or virus

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. Symptoms can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced ability to move the joint
  • Redness of the skin around a joint
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Warmth around a joint

TREATMENT
Homeopathic approach- The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage. The underlying cause cannot usually be cured.

Lifestyle changes- Lifestyle changes are the preferred treatment for osteoarthritis and other types of joint inflammation. Exercise can help relieve stiffness, reduce pain and fatigue, and improve muscle and bone strength. Your health care team can help you design an exercise program that is best for you.

Exercise programs may include:

  • Low-impact aerobic activity (also called endurance exercise)
  • Range of motion exercises for flexibility
  • Strength training for muscle tone

Physical therapy may be recommended. This might include:

  • Heat or ice
  • Splints or orthotics to support joints and help improve their position; this is often needed for rheumatoid arthritis
  • Water therapy
  • Massage

Other recommendations:

  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours a night and taking naps during the day can help you recover from a flare-up more quickly and may even help prevent flare ups.
  • Avoid staying in one position for too long.
  • Avoid positions or movements that place extra stress on your sore joints.
  • Change your home to make activities easier. For example, install grab bars in the shower, the tub, and near the toilet.
  • Try stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, which contain important vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, and herring), flaxseed, rapeseed (canola) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
  • Lose weight, if you are overweight. Weight loss can greatly improve joint pain in the legs and feet.

COMPLICATIONS
Complications of arthritis include:

  • Long-term (chronic) pain
  • Disability
  • Difficulty performing daily activities


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