According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, at least 3.85 million Australians have arthritis. Two-thirds of this number are in the working population. It is projected that by 2050, 7 million Australians will have this condition.
What is Arthritis?
Contrary to what some people think, arthritis does not pertain to a single disease. That said, it is used to describe ailments involving the joints or any joint pain. Anyone can develop arthritis. As a matter of fact, 50 million adults and around 300,000 children have the disease.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related diseases. However, the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, this ailment is characterised by joint pain, stiffness, swelling and a drop in motion range. A person can have this condition for various reasons. It can be hereditary, associated with age, stemmed from lifting heavy items when he worked in a furniture store, due to obesity, or developed from a joint injury.
Aside from feeling or experiencing the signs of arthritis, this condition can be detected by a doctor through a physical exam. In diagnosing the disease, the doctor will examine if there is fluid in the joints, if the motion range in the joints is restrained, and if there are warm or red joints. Once it is suspected that a person has it, the doctor will perform blood and fluid extraction in the joints and will analyse the inflammation levels in the affected area. Through this approach, the doctor will be able to identify the type of arthritis that a person has.
Specialists can also administer X-ray, MRI, and CT scan procedures to dismiss the possibilities of having another ailment that has the same symptoms as arthritis.
Modes of Treatment
The primary objective of treating this disease is to alleviate the pain that the person is experiencing. Moreover, the medical attention that will be given to the patient will ensure that no further damage to the joints will take place.
A person diagnosed with arthritis should look into the best way of managing the disease. For instance, joint pains and other symptoms of this condition can be treated through over the counter pain relievers, supplements, and topical pain-relieving gels, ointment and creams.
Physical therapy as a form of treatment is also recommended in assuaging the pain caused by this condition. Moreover, this approach can reinforce the muscles around the damaged joint, decreases stiffness of the joint, and ameliorate a person’s range of motion.
Undergoing a surgical procedure to replace the damaged joint with an artificial joint should also be taken into consideration. However, this is only advised to those suffering from extreme cases of the disease.