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Arthritis & Other Rheumatic Diseases


What is it?

Arthritis, is a very broad term under which a wide range of about 100 different videos fall. Rheumatic disease is just one category under arthritis. Rheumatic diseases additionally affect the internal organs of the body and cause connective tissue diseases or even autoimmune disorder (defense mechanism of the body attacks its own immune system) along with joint, muscles, tendon pain, etc.

Symptoms:

  • Joint pains and swelling
  • Warmth and redness of joints
  • Stiffness in the affected joints
  • Fatigue
  • Lumps known as rheumatoid nodules
  • Weak muscles
  • Unstable joints
  • Painful walking
  • Obstruction and difficulty in routine movements like gripping objects, combing, dressing, bending over, sitting, etc.

Cause include:

  • Hereditary
  • Inheritance of cartilage weakness
  • Trauma
  • Lifestyle (obesity)
  • Infection
  • Neurogenic/ metabolic disturbances
  • Wear and tear or stressed joints.
  • Environmental triggers
  • Hormonal imbalance

Diagnosis Tests:

The diagnosis of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases is not easy because, the symptoms as seen above are closely similar to many other diseases. However following diagnostic tests are commonly conducted:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory tests- Anitnuclear antibody, complete blood count, hematocrit, urine analysis, WBC count, etc.
  • X-rays
  • Imaging tests- CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, etc.

Treatment:

Some common treatments are:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining Balanced diet
  • Stress reduction techniques like meditation.
  • Adequate rest

Whom to approach?

  • Primary care doctor
  • Rheumatologist
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Podiatrist

Aternative Therapies:
Often supportive care is required to ease emotional upheaval.
Regular follow-up with your doctor is utmost important post-treatment.

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