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Definition of arthritis

Definition of arthritis

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Arthritis is not a disease in itself but rather a symptom whose causes include more than a hundred diseases (infections, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout ...). Arthritis can affect one or more joints: in the latter case, we speak of arthritis. The condition in question may be acute or chronic. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis.

Risks and origins of arthritis

The human body contains more than one hundred articulations connect one bone to another. Arthritis is not a disease but encompasses many different conditions, from the least to the most severe debilitating. The arthritic inflammation can occur as a result of shock, diseases, infections or be the result of an autoimmune disease. For example, rheumatoid arthritis affects 0.5% to 1% of the population in the West, and twice as many women as men.

Causes and mechanisms of arthritis

Mechanisms and causes vary depending on the origin of arthritis.

For the most common, rheumatoid arthritis, the cause is unknown, probably involving a character autoimmune (the body attacks its own joints by its cells) and a genetic predisposition.

In infectious arthritis, is a bacterium most frequently involved and causes inflammation.

In metabolic arthritis, is the accumulation of a product (uric acid, calcium ...) in the joint which causes inflammation and painful crisis (gout, chondrocalcinosis ...).

Arthritis Symptoms

Symptoms common to all the arthritis, regardless of cause, include pain, swelling, redness and stiffness in one or more joints. Pain and stiffness are generally higher in the morning or only on certain days.

Symptoms and their location varies depending on the cause: one or more joints, symmetrical or not reached, fever, night ...

Arthritis Prevention

With what should we not confuse arthritis?
Joint pain should not be confused with pain "regional" periarticular (tendonitis), muscle (tear, hematoma ...), bone (fracture, fracture ...) or vascular (blood clots ...). Similarly, other organs pain can be "projected" and mimic joint pain. Only a complete medical examination can make a difference.

Osteoarthritis in turn is manifested by pain "mechanical" because the cartilage is worn. Rest relieves pain while moving the wake.

Are there possible prevention of arthritis?

Arthritis pain can be prevented easily. However, changes in lifestyle or certain techniques (physiotherapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy ...) can relieve. In addition, fatigue, stress, anxiety play a negative role and accentuate the pain.

A balance between exercise and beaches beaches of rest must be found to maintain joint mobility and maintaining muscle mass. Regular movements, soft and slow are recommended: range of motion exercises (stretching, dance), strength training or endurance (walking, cycling, swimming).

The fight against excess weight is also a priority not to weigh on the joints.

Arthritis Preparing consultation

When to consult?
Any inflammation of a joint is abnormal and should motivate a consultation with a general practitioner or rheumatologist. Some cases represent a therapeutic emergency as infectious arthritis, for others, the more the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.

What is the doctor?

The doctor makes a general clinical examination (fever, signs of extra-articular) and detailed articulation involved. The interrogation phase on the characteristics and modes of onset of pain is fundamental and directs the diagnostic strategy. Based, additional tests are proposed. A blood test usually includes biological analysis of inflammatory proteins (CRP: C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and other proteins). Other tests look for specific causes such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. In case of joint with effusion, joint aspiration for synovial fluid analysis is useful. Finally, imaging (radiography, ultrasound, MRI, scintigraphy) painful areas provides valuable information to the physician.

Treatments obviously depend on the cause found. Drugs against pain and inflammatory allow symptomatic treatment.

How to prepare my next visit?

Given the variability of the symptoms of a patient to another and from one day to another in the same person, it is essential to identify the individual factors that relieve or aggravate the symptoms instead. The doctor and the medical team can then tailor advice and offer a personalized program.

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