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7 Things You Should Know About Arthritis

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1. What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means joint inflammation and is a general term used to describe around 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues surrounding the joints, and other connective tissue. It is characterized by aches, pains, swelling and stiffness in and around joints, especially the knee, elbow and shoulder joints.

2. What causes arthritis?
Some of the potential causes of arthritis include:
      • Injury that leads to degenerative arthritis
      • Abnormal metabolism that leads to gout and pseudogout
      • Genetic (i.e. via family), such as in case of osteoarthritis
      • Infections, such as in case of arthritis of Lyme disease
      • Overactive immune system

3. How prevalent is arthritis in India?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 17% of India’s population suffers from some form of arthritis. In fact, the epidemic of pain is possibly the biggest health problem India faces today – much more than the combined burden of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

4. What are the most common symptoms of arthritis?
The four most common symptoms of arthritis are a pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty in moving a joint.

5. How can arthritis affect a person’s daily life?
Arthritis can prevent a person from performing normal activities, and can adversely affect a person’s daily life in many ways, such as:
    • It can prevent a person from stooping, bending, kneeling or walking properly
    • It can prevent a person from working and earning to their full potential
    • It can disable a person completely
    • It can severely impact a person’s emotional health via depression and psychological distress

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6. How is arthritis diagnosed?
Arthritis is generally diagnosed via physical examination of the body, blood test and imaging scans like X-ray, CT scans and MRI.

7. How is arthritis treated?
You may have to try different treatments, or a combination of treatments before knowing what works best for you. Treatments can include lifestyle changes via exercise, physical therapy, correct posture, yoga, eating a healthy diet comprising lots of fruits and vegetables, weight control – as well as medicines and surgery.

What other valuable information can you share with us about arthritis? Do let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

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