Did you know there is more than one type of arthritis? In fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. The prognosis is different for each type.
The term “arthritis” has been used as an umbrella term to describe a wide variety of rheumatic diseases, including the most common type, Osteoarthritis. Most people at some point in their lives will experience Osteoarthritis. It is a result of barriers around the joint wearing away, usually due to age, injury, or excessive pressure placed on the joint (due to activity or weight), and is localized to the place of wear. Typically when a person says“arthritis” they are referring to this type.
Being lumped with “arthritis,” other immune system-related arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) does not get the attention it deserves.
Miss K 30-year-old IT professional recently diagnosed with RA told me, ‘’Soon after diagnosis, I realized that no one understood what Rheumatoid Arthritis was, most people only heard the word “arthritis” and would respond with “you are too young to have arthritis” or ‘’take ayurvedic treatment” or “diet and exercise will help’’.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious disease that is misunderstood by most people, including many professionals and medical personnel. RA is a type of autoimmune diseases. It causes damage not only to joints but also affects internal organs like the lungs and heart.
Common symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis are
1. Constant or recurring pains in 1 or more joints pain
2. Stiffness on getting up after a period of inactivity or in the morning
3. Swelling in one or more joints
4. Joint pains affecting night sleep
5. Fatigue/difficulty in performing routine activities
6. The most common joints involved are the hands, wrists and feet.
7. The stiffness in the morning generally lasts longer than 45 minutes.
Don’t understand why such a common problem like ‘arthritis’ can cause so severe symptoms? I feel more tired than my 70 years old grandfather who actually has arthritis’’.
Since each type of arthritis is different, each type calls for a different approach to treatment. That means an accurate diagnosis is crucial for anyone who has arthritis. With the proper diagnosis, you’ll know what causes the pain. Then, you can be sure you’re taking the proper steps to relieve the pain and continue to be active.
Simply stating, “I have arthritis,” isn’t enough. Knowing the type of arthritis you have is the key to understand your illness and treatment.
As shown in the above pictures Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease. Joints may look normal in the early stages. With recent advances in treatment, it is possible to halt disease progression. The majority of patients with arthritis can lead a normal life if treated appropriately.