Arthritis, over a period of time, has turned into a dreaded ailment of the world. It is a joint disorder, and can cause such symptoms as inability to use hands or legs, feeling of tiredness, weight loss, poor sleep, aches, etc. However, most people relate arthritis with the old age. They tend to believe that arthritis tends to develop over time due to several reasons, which include aging, exposure to very cold weather, overweight, etc. What if I told you that your perception isn’t exactly right?
Let me narrate a story to further elucidate my point. One of my close friends at school used to frequently have various forms and severity of body aches. She once told me that even as a toddler, she had difficulty walking around. She got to know about this from her parents. Right since this time, her parents consulted various doctors, but they failed to identify the cause of her regular and severe aches. Many even suggested that these were simply growing aches, and will pass away with time.
Time did pass, but her pain didn’t. In fact, as she grew up, the severity of her pains increased. She regularly complained about hurting joints, which would get stiff at times. In fact, she even experienced swelling around her joints. As doctors could not recognize the cause of her problems, she was taken to a specialist. Careful examination revealed that she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a form of arthritis which generally attacks people at an early age.
Age – No Bar
Research suggests that people can suffer from arthritis at almost any age. In fact, there are over 20,000 children around the world who suffer from Arthritis. The problem, however, is that only few doctors have gained expertise in handling cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis. While old doctors lack the knowledge, new ones aren’t being trained enough on this rising form of ailment. As some experts suggest, it is a specialty which only few people focus on. Because of the lack of knowledge and skill among doctors, the chances of worsening of the condition become prominent. With symptoms existing without any treatment, they tend to get to the joints. It can get so severe among children that even their walking can be impaired.
Forms of Arthritis
As laymen, we need to have some basic knowledge in the field of medicine. We need to understand those general things that can affect us in our day to day lives. Arthritis is one such topic. If people have information about its causes, symptoms, and ways of prevention; they would be able to be better prepared for the same. After all, the rising cases of this ailment justify such importance being provided to the same.
Let us try to garner some basic information about Arthritis. There are more than 200 types of Arthritis that exist around us. This breaks the first myth that most Arthritis symptoms are the same. In fact, all these 200 types of Arthritis might manifest in different ways, and have different levels of severity. Also known as the inflammation of the joints, Arthritis might even go unnoticed in its initial stage. This is because people only tend to suffer some basic pains, which get ignored most times. In the extreme level of Arthritis, the patients might even be needed to consider joint replacement operations.
Here are the two most prominent forms of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis: This form of arthritis is the one that most of us know about. It is generally caused by the wear and tear on cartilage. As you might expect, it occurs in old age. With the passage of time, a person loses strength in the joints due to wear and tear. This is the time when osteoarthritis can strike, making it difficult for him / her to move around.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is the form of Arthritis that we are currently talking about. Young people are usually affected by this form of Arthritis. It is believed that women are three times as likely to be affected by this form of Arthritis as compared to men. Medical practitioners and researchers are still struggling to identify the origin of the ailment. While new forms of treatments have been brought into existence, not all institutions are willing to accept them.
What can be Done?
As mentioned earlier, there are not many successful solutions that are known right now. Some of the innovative treatments haven’t received wide acceptance. However, here are some strategies that I think can work. This is supposed to be accepted purely for information purposes. I do not promote or endorse any of the below mentioned treatments or solutions. You would be advised to consult your doctor before adopting any of the following:
- Pain Management: This is one of the simple and basic ways of managing Rheumatoid Arthritis. Under this scenario, the patient is advised to do various things that can help him / her successfully manage pain. For the same, the patient can control breathing. Research suggests that controlled breathing can be helpful in managing pain. On the other hand, the patient can try to focus on something else when pain strikes. Other patients have suggested that such strategies tend to work for them. It might work for you or your kid too.
- 2. Medication: The other obvious way of fighting against any ailment is with the help of medication. Anti-TNFs are being used by some practitioners. Such medication works by blocking enzymes involved in the inflammation of joints. However, many health authorities, around the globe, are not recognizing this medication. They are refusing to fund treatments that are making use of these drugs.
Arthritis is an ailment which has engulfed the world. Contrary to popular beliefs, old people aren’t the only ones at risk of being affected by Arthritis. Younger people are being affected too, and it is important people garner the right knowledge. With limited medical specialty available in the field, educated parents can ensure that their kids receive the level of treatment that they deserve.