Arthritis isn’t a single disease like typhoid! It is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that cause inflammation of joints. There are hundreds of arthritis with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common ones.
Here are how they are caused and the ways through which they can be prevented.
Causes of arthritis
Arthritis is a complex multifactorial disease and hence there’s no �one answer’ to the question ��what causes arthritis’. However, damage, reduction, destruction, and loss of connective tissue of the joints, called cartilage is one cause that the arthritis group of diseases has in common.
As far as osteoarthritis is concerned, it’s the normal wear and tear of cartilage due to any infection or injury that is known to be the leading cause. For other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, immune system related disorders come into play. The immune system starts attacking the self-tissues, including those that are associated with nourishment and lubrication of cartilage and joints respectively. Eventually, this leads to the destruction of bones and the cartilages, thereby hurting the joints.
Apart from these specific causes, there are several other factors that contribute to the development of arthritis. Some of them are
1. Genetic factors � People with family history of bones and/or joints related ailments are more prone to arthritis than others. Also, there are studies that suggest the inheritance of genes that are directly or indirectly involved in causing arthritis.
2. Lifestyle factors � Injuries, previous infections, an occupation that demands repetitive stress on certain joints, smoking, intolerance to certain kinds of food and obesity are known to elevate the risk of arthritis.
Can it be prevented?
Although there’s no sure way that can prevent arthritis, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing arthritis.
1. Make changes to your diet � According to the US FDA, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the inflammation in the body. So, you should add certain fishes like salmon and trout to your plate and suppress inflammation before it gets worse and turn up to be arthritis.
2. Maintain a healthy weight � When you weigh more, you tend to stress the poor knee joints. Eventually, this can lead to wear and tear of cartilages, thereby triggering arthritis. So make sure your weight is under control.
3. Exercise � Regular exercise strengthens the joints and the muscles surrounding it. Hence, it is always recommended to add some stretching exercises, aerobics, and range of motions to the daily schedule.
4. Take care of your joints � There is some lifestyle related risk factors that can’t be prevented. But then, you can always act smart and protect your joints. For instance, if your job demands continuous sitting for hours, you should make arrangements to support your backbone, legs and arms so that the joints do not get pressurized and hurt.
5. Do not delay the diagnosis � If your joints hurt or you feel some sort of stiffness while you wake up in the morning, consult your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis often prevents worsening of the condition and increases the chances of complete cure.
You can consult some of the best doctor’s listed in the Orthopaedic Department at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Peddar Road, Mumbai and Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, Mumbai as they are well experienced for the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.