Arthritis is degenerative and inflammatory disease of joints with lots of pain and stiffness in the joints which is affected The condition may worsen with the age if left untreated .
The condition of arthritis gives rise to pain, restriction of movement and deformity. People affected with arthritis are known to have difficulty with routine activities of daily living such as walking, sitting, dressing, feeding etc., depending on which joints are affected. In severe cases, patients suffer pain even at rest and during sleep, which leads to despair and agony.
The treatment plan for arthritis helps patients to deal with the condition, though there is no known cure for it that could help reverse the condition. In early stages of arthritis, the following could be suggested towards treatment:
If these do not work, medications are prescribed, which are generally paracetamol (acetaminophen), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and opiates. In inflammatory arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, aggressive treatment with a combination of DMARDS (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) within the first 3-6 months of diagnosis will permanently alter the course of the disease progression. But in the event of delay, the efficacy of this treatment is lessened.
When oral medications do not give relief, injections in the joint can also be given. Steroid injections are suitable for small joints of the hand and feet. They are generally avoided in large joints and when the arthritis is severe. There is a risk of infection and accelerated degeneration oin f the lining of the joint cartilage with repeated usage.
SOURCE: Adapted from an article by Dr. Jayateerth Kulkarni