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Arthritis - Overview

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Arthritis Overview Section 2

Over 10 million people in the UK live with arthritis — that’s one in every six people. Arthritis is undoubtedly a national health concern. The disease affects nearly every aspect of the patient’s life, and along with other musculoskeletal conditions, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the UK.

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Living with arthritis can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our expert team is here to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment today to discuss personalized treatment options tailored to your needs.

Understanding Arthritis

The term “arthritis” is generally used to describe stiffness, pain, swelling, or tenderness in joints. Arthritis is a group of diseases that cause inflammation in one or more joints. It stems from the wear and tear of joint cartilage over time, the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues, the buildup of crystals in the joint, or genetic disorders.

There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions affecting people of all ages. Here’s an overview of the most common types of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and musculoskeletal condition. It affects approximately one in 10 UK adults. It can occur in almost any joint but mainly attacks the knees, hip, and hand joints.

Osteoarthritis was initially thought to be a wear-and-tear disease linked to worn joint cartilages — the cushioning layer covering the ends of bones. But recent research has revealed that it’s not just the protective cartilage that wears down. The bone itself and the connective tissues holding the joint together deteriorate and get inflamed.

Autoimmune Inflammatory Arthritis

An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s natural defence system mistakenly attacks normal, healthy cells. Such is the case with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma, where the immune system attacks the soft tissues in joints, leading to inflammation, bone erosion, and damage to joints.

Autoimmune inflammatory arthritis may affect other parts of the body as well, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, and gut.

Infectious or Reactive Arthritis

Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections can cause arthritis. The source of the infection could be an external wound, surgical procedure, or an underlying disease such as chlamydia or salmonellosis.

Psoriasis arthritis is a common example of reactive arthritis. It is caused by psoriasis, a skin and nail disease thought to be an autoimmune condition.

Metabolic Arthritis (Gout)

Gout is the buildup of tiny, sharp uric crystals in the joints that causes intense bouts of pain. Normally, the kidneys get rid of uric acid, but when they fail or there’s too much of it, the uric acid fatefully accumulates in joints.

Since uric acid tends to crystalise in lower temperatures, gout usually starts to form in the big toe because it’s the most extreme and coolest joint.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Although arthritis mostly afflicts the older population (age 45 and up), people of all age groups can develop the disease.

JIA is a long-lasting type of arthritis that affects children under 16. In addition to causing joint pain, juvenile idiopathic arthritis may lead to growth and development problems, among other health complications. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to immune and genetic disorders.

Spondyloarthropathies

Spondyloarthropathies are a group of joint disorders characterised by inflammatory joint pain and morning stiffness. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is the most common spondyloarthropathy. Also known as axial spondyloarthritis, AS attacks the joints between the spine’s vertebrae, sometimes causing them to fuse. Fused vertebrae stiffen the spine and may lead to a hunched back and breathing problems.

Other spondyloarthropathies include:

Psoriatic arthritis

Inflammatory bowel disease

Associated arthritis

Reactive arthritis

Undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy

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Living With Arthritis

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Arthritis may not be curable, but it’s not a death sentence. In fact, many arthritis patients live a long, healthy life despite the affliction. However, living with arthritis is not easy. But there are many ways arthritis patients can improve the quality of their lives:

  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet

  • Maintaining healthy body weight

  • Staying active through physical exercises such as non-impact cardio

  • Avoiding unnecessary strain or stress on joints with arthritis

  • Using mobility aid whenever necessary

  • Engaging in muscle-strengthening exercises

  • Eliminating slip and fall hazards at home and the workplace

  • Using labour-saving tools, equipment, and home appliances

  • Taking pain management medications as needed

  • Seeking professional occupational therapy


Get Professional Medical Help for Arthritis

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Arthritis is a progressive lifelong disease. The effectiveness of arthritis treatment and care matters a great deal to your quality of life. It could make all the difference in your ability to work and go about your daily activities.

The trick to managing arthritis is personalised professional treatment. That way, you get the medications, therapies, and advice that directly address your symptoms, concerns, and needs.

Do not compromise on healthcare. Get the best private arthritis treatment in London.

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