Medical Awareness >>   Arthritis



Arthritis is a disease associated with the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The significant symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which gradually worsen with time and age. The most prevalent kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is where the cartilage (the hard yet slippery tissue covering the ends of bones where they form a joint) breaks down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease wherein the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.

Uric acid crystals are formed when too much uric acid is in your blood. This can cause gout. Infections or underlying diseases, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other different types of arthritis.

Treatments differ depending on the type of arthritis. The main motto of arthritis treatments in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.


The joints observe the most common signs and symptoms of arthritis. Depending on the kind of arthritis, signs and symptoms may involve:

  • Painfulness in joints when moved or pressure is applied
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion to move passively or actively
  • Weakness in the muscles surrounding the joint
  • Tenderness to touch
  • A grating feeling or sound with movement
  • Deformity of the joint (like bowing of the knees)


The two primary kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, damage joints variedly.


This is the most common type of arthritis that involves wear-and-tear damage to a joint's cartilage. Cartilage cushions the bone ends and permits close to frictionless joint movement, but adequate damage can result in bone grinding, causing pain and restricted motion. This wear and tear can occur over many years or be hasten by a joint injury or infection.

Osteoarthritis can also result in bone changes and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold joints together. If the cartilage in a joint is harshly damaged, the joint lining may cause inflammation and swelling.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In this, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a rigid membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) evolves inflamed and swollen. This process will eventually demolish cartilage and bone within the joint.

Risk factors

Risk factors for arthritis involve:

  • Family history. Some types of arthritis are hereditary, so if the parents or siblings have the disorder, they are likely to get it.
  • Age. The risk of many types of arthritis is likely increasing with age.
  • Gender. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most people with gout, another type of arthritis, are men.
  • Joint injury history. People who have had an injured joint are more likely to develop arthritis in that joint.
  • Obesity. Heavy-weight people are at a higher risk of developing arthritis. Carrying excess weight puts stress on joints, mainly your knees, hips, and spine.


Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can cause problems in walking comfortably or sitting up straight. Severe arthritis in the hands or arms can make it difficult to perform daily tasks. Eventually, joints may gradually lose their alignment and shape.


Arthritis is usually diagnosed with a careful evaluation of symptoms and a physical examination. 

  • X-rays are vital to comprehend the extent of any damage to the joint. 
  • Occasionally, MRI is used to diagnose arthritis. 
  • Blood tests and other lab tests may help identify the type of arthritis. 
  • Fluid from the joint must be analyzed for diagnosis of arthritis.


Arthritis treatment concentrates on relieving symptoms and improving the functioning of joints. One might need to try several treatments or combinations of treatments before determining what works best for the patient.


Depending on the type of arthritis, medications may vary. Commonly used arthritis medications include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Stronger NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation and increase your heart attack or stroke risk. They can also be in creams or gels that can be rubbed on joints.
  • Counterirritants like some creams and ointments that contain menthol or capsaicin, rubbing these preparations on the skin over joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
  • Steroids. These might reduce inflammation and pain and slow joint damage. Corticosteroids may be given as pills or injections into the painful joint. Side effects may be involved.
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and save the joints and other tissues from permanent damage. 


Workouts and physical activities can improve the range of motion and strengthen the joints muscles. Physical therapy can be helpful for some arthritis types. In some cases, slings or mountings may be advised.


Surgery may be suggested if conservative methods don't work:

  • Joint repair. Joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce discomfort and improve function. 
  • Joint replacement. This technique replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one. The most commonly replaced joints are the hips and knees.
  • Joint fusion. This procedure is often employed for more undersized joints. It removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and locks them together until they heal into one rigid unit.

Fact Check

  • Osteoarthritis is the most frequent joint disease with up to 39% prevalence in India.
  • Close to 45% of over 65 aged women have symptoms of osteoarthritis, whereas 70% of those above 65 years show evidence of it.
  • Almost all inflammatory arthritis is treatable. Modern medicines are safe and nontoxic, but regular follow-up is mandatory.
  • Some yoga postures are suitable for a particular type of arthritis, but some can even harm joints.
  • Walking is very good for the knees, as walking not only improves muscle strength, reduces weight, and a sense of well-being, but now it is proved that walking can regenerate cartilage of knee joints.

PGC Resolution: We are dedicated to the prevention, control, and cure of India's leading cause of disability.