On 12th of October Arthritis Day is celebrated every year from around the world. Initially, the day was observed in the year 1996 by the Arthritis Rheumatism International. Now, the day is celebrated all over the world to raise awareness and to bring the patients together to get their voices heard on this day. The day aims at raising awareness about the condition to make sure that the sufferers and caregivers can understand that help is available for them at all times. When we are nearing this day in 2015, this is the right time to understand some details about this health issue:
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is the disease that leads to painful stiffness and inflammation of joints. Now, you know what is arthritis? The thing to remember here is that it can occur in any joints and some patients experience arthritis in legs, while some experience arthritis in hands. Also, some patients will have pain and stiffness in all joints. Now, it is time to understand about signs of arthritis.
Sings of arthritis:
Before getting into the details about the signs, it is important to understand that there are different types of this inflammatory disease and among the many types, the most common and popular types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
· Osteoarthritis signs: Symptoms of this type includes joint pain and stiffness that progresses in a gradual manner.
· Rheumatoid arthritis signs: The signs of this type include stiffness in wrists, legs, arms and fingers. Other symptoms might include inflammation and painful swelling in the same joints on both sides of the body, particularly when the patient wakes up after sleeping for some hours.
Difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and it involves the wearing away of cartilage that provides protection to the bones in joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membranes that safeguards and lubricates joints get inflamed, thereby causing swelling and pain. Patients with this type of arthritis might experience joint erosion as well followed by the swelling and pain.
Causes of arthritis:
Now, after understanding what is arthritis and the signs of arthritis, it is better to get an understanding about rheumatoid arthritis causes and also the causes of osteoarthritis.
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis causes, it is stated that this problem occurs when the immune system attacks the synovium, which is nothing, but the lining of the membranes that surround the joints. This will result in swelling and in turn will make the synovium thicker, thereby destroying the cartilage and bones within the joint. The ligaments and tendons that are responsible for holding the joints together become weak and they stretch, thereby leading to loss of shape and alignment of joints. Even though, the actual trigger behind this process is not known, it is stated that it might be because of genetic reasons.
In general, the diagnosis of any health issue progresses along a well-defined path, which generally comprises of three parts, namely: the history of the health issue, blood tests followed by imaging techniques like scans or X-rays. Seropositive or seronegative is a term that denotes to the results of the blood test.
Association with arthritis:
When it comes to diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor will prescribe a blood test to look at the presence of two proteins in the blood and one of these proteins is called as Rheumatoid Factor. If the result of the test is positive, it is called as seropositive and when it is negative, it is termed as seronegative arthritis.
Difference between arthritis and rheumatism:
The confusion between arthritis and rheumatism is highly understandable as the word rheumatism is still used informally for explaining the symptoms that are similar to those experienced by patients with osteoarthritis. Even though, these two are types of arthritis, they are used inter-changeably by general public as they do not understand that they are different types of arthritis.
The World Arthritis Day is a great day to get out and offer a helping hand to patients suffering with arthritis, regardless of its type. If one of your friends or relatives has this problem, just get to them and offer them some sort of help that you can. It is better to take some time to do a little bit of research, so that you can get a clear understanding of how patients with this health issue have difficulty in getting along. Also, remember to do mild exercises every day to protect yourself from this deadly disease. Keep moving and make your joints also move, rather than stagnating.