Arthritis is described as a disease of joints, which can result in pain, swelling, redness, and bone erosion of the joints, affecting small and big joints of the body. It can affect any person of any age group and of any gender. There are many predisposing factors responsible for the development of the disease however the pathogenicity varies according to the type even though the symptoms of discomfort may be more or less the same.
Different types of arthritis which are most commonly seen are:
- Osteoarthritis- also known as the wear and tear disease, which is caused when the cartilages of the joint get damaged, resulting in bones of the joint grinding on themselves, which then gives rise to the symptoms of pain and difficult movement. This affects mainly the big weight bearing joints.
- rheumatoid arthritis- it is an autoimmune disorder, wherein there is inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joint, resulting in tender, swollen and painful joints. It usually begins in the peripheral (small) joints and then gradually affects the bigger joints as fell.
- Gout- it develops when urate crystals develop in the joints alongwith a high blood uric acid levels, resulting in intense pain and formation of a lump around the affected joint and giving rise to joint deformities and if left untreated could lead to osteoarthritis. Metatarsophalangeal joint( the big toe) is the most common site of occurrence and gradually other joints are also affected.
- Ankylosing spondylitis- Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes lower back pain. Symptoms, including hip pain and a stiff back that may come and go. Over time, vertebrae in the spinal column may fuse and become rigid (ankylosis).
- Psoriatic arthritis- it is an autoimmune disorder where skin is primarily affected resulting in redness and flakiness of the skin with development of patches of this sort especially on the scalp, torso, joints and folds of breasts. The joint pain comes secondary to the primary skin involvement, resulting in painful small joints and then gradually big joints are also affected.
HOMEOPATHIC VIEWPOINT: irrespective of the cause of the development of rheumatism, homeopathic consultation and treatment is based on the symptoms of discomfort both physical and mental. After establishing the complete disease picture of the patient then the most suitable remedy is prescribed which is gentle enough that the patient is aggravated no further and strong enough that the discomfort of the patient can be removed. Having neither any side effects or the addicting ability, homeopathic medicines helps treating the inflammation, swelling and pain of the joints alongwith stabilizing the hypersensitivity of the immune system, normalizing the increased levels of uric acid and getting the patient relieved of any skin conditions as well. Therefore the homeopathic medicines work holistically and provides relief to multiple problems simultaneously.
For more information please read below.
What is it? More people have this condition than any other form of arthritis. It’s the “wear and tear” that happens when your joints are overused. It usually happens with age, but it can also come from joint injuries or obesity, which puts extra stress on your joints.
Joints that bear weight — like your knees, hips, feet, and spine — are the most common places it affects. It often comes on gradually over months or years. It makes the affected joint hurt. But you don’t feel sick or have the fatigue that comes with some other types of arthritis.
What happens: You lose your body’s shock absorber. Cartilage, the slippery material that covers the ends of bones, gradually breaks down.
One example is what can happen to your knees when you’re overweight. The extra pounds put more pressure on the cartilage as it gets squeezed between the bones. It gets damaged and wears away, so there isn’t as much left to cushion the joint.
The damaged cartilage makes movement painful. You may hear a grating sound when the roughened cartilage on the surface of the bones rubs together. You may get painful spurs or bumps on the end of the bones, especially on fingers and feet. The joint lining can get inflamed, but it’s not common with osteoarthritis.
Symptoms depend on which joint or joints are affected. You may have:
- Deep, aching pain
- Trouble dressing, combing your hair, gripping things, bending over, squatting, or climbing stairs, depending on which joints are involved
- Morning stiffness that typically lasts less than 30 minutes
- Pain when walking
- Stiffness after resting
Your joint may be:
- Warm to the touch
- Swollen and harder to move
- Unable to move through a full range of motion
What is it? RA is an autoimmune disease. That means the immune system attacks parts of the body, especially the joints. That leads to inflammation, which can cause severe joint damage if you don’t treat it. About 1 out of every 5 people who have rheumatoid arthritis get lumps on their skin called rheumatoid nodules. These often form over joint areas that receive pressure, such as over knuckles, elbows, or heels.
Symptoms can come on gradually or start suddenly. They’re often more severe than with osteoarthritis.
The most common include:
- Pain, stiffness, and swelling in your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, jaw, and neck. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects multiple joints.
- More than one swollen joint. Usually, it’s small joints in your wrists, hands, or feet.
- A symmetrical pattern. When the knuckles on your left hand are inflamed, the knuckles on your right hand probably will be as well. After some time, you may notice more of your joints feel warm or become painful or swollen.
- Morning stiffness than can last for hours or even most of the day. You may also feel fatigued and notice that your appetite is down and you’ve lost weight.
What is it? People with this condition have inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis).
Psoriasis causes patchy, raised, red and white areas of inflamed skin with scales. It usually affects the tips of the elbows and knees, the scalp, the navel, and skin around the genital areas or anus.
Only about 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis will also get psoriatic arthritis.
What happens: This type of arthritis usually starts between ages 30 and 50, but it can start as early as childhood. It’s equally common among men and women. The skin disease (psoriasis) usually shows up first.
Symptoms: Psoriatic arthritis can swell the fingers and toes. People who have it often have fingernails that are pitted or discolored, too.
In some people, only one joint or a few joints are affected. For example, you could have it in only one knee. Sometimes, it affects the spine or just the fingers and toes.
What is it? A buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. Most of the time, it’s your big toe or another part of your foot.
What happens: Often you wake up with a sudden, sharp pain in your big toe after a night of drinking. But drugs, stress, or another illness can also trigger a gout attack.
The attack will last between 3 and 10 days, even if you don’t treat it. It may be months or years before you have another one, but over time, attacks may grow more frequent. And they may last longer, too. If gout goes untreated too long, it can affect your joints and kidneys.
Gout results from one of three things:
- Your body is making more uric acid.
- Your kidneys can’t process the uric acid your body makes.
- You’re eating too many foods that raise uric acid levels.
Symptoms: They almost always come on quickly. You’ll notice:
- Intense joint pain: It’ll probably be in your big toe, but it could also be in your ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, or fingers.
- Discomfort: Even after the sharp pain goes away, your joint will still hurt.
- Inflammation and redness: The joint will be red, swollen, and tender.
- Hard to move: Your joint will be stiff.
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that, over time, can cause some of the bones in the spine (vertebrae) to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.
Signs and symptoms typically begin in early adulthood. Inflammation can also occur in other parts of the body — most commonly, the eyes.
There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but treatments can lessen symptoms and possibly slow progression of the disease.
Early signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis might include pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Neck pain and fatigue also are common. Over time, symptoms might worsen, improve or stop at irregular intervals.
The areas most commonly affected are:
- The joint between the base of the spine and the pelvis
- The vertebrae in the lower back
- The places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones, mainly in the spine, but sometimes along the back of the heel
- The cartilage between the breastbone and the ribs
- The hip and shoulder joints
Ankylosing spondylitis has no known specific cause, though genetic factors seem to be involved. In particular, people who have a gene called HLA-B27 are at a greatly increased risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis. However, only some people with the gene develop the condition.
Onset generally occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood. Most people who have ankylosing spondylitis have the HLA-B27 gene. But many people who have this gene never develop ankylosing spondylitis.
In severe ankylosing spondylitis, new bone forms as part of the body’s attempt to heal. This new bone gradually bridges the gap between vertebrae and eventually fuses sections of vertebrae. Those parts of the spine become stiff and inflexible. Fusion can also stiffen the rib cage, restricting lung capacity and function.
Other complications might include:
- Eye inflammation (uveitis). One of the most common complications of ankylosing spondylitis, uveitis can cause rapid-onset eye pain, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. See your doctor right away if you develop these symptoms.
- Compression fractures. Some people’s bones weaken during the early stages of ankylosing spondylitis. Weakened vertebrae can crumple, increasing the severity of a stooped posture. Vertebral fractures can put pressure on and possibly injure the spinal cord and the nerves that pass through the spine.
Heart problems. Ankylosing spondylitis can cause problems with the aorta, the largest artery in the body. The inflamed aorta can enlarge to the point that it distorts the shape of the aortic valve in the heart, which impairs its function. The inflammation associated with ankylosing spondylitis increases the risk of heart disease in general.