Arthritis is a medical condition mainly affecting the joint. The condition is characterized by swelling, stiffness and pain in joint. Arthritis further can be categorized into two types. It can be non inflammatory arthritis and inflammatory arthritis. Non inflammatory arthritis is due to wear and tear of the joint and aging.
Inflammatory arthritis involves immune system of the body. The immune system attacks body own healthy tissues, without any reason. Most common type of inflammatory arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and psoriatic arthritis. These disorders affect joints as well as other organs of the body.
Inflammatory arthritis cannot be cured permanently, but with conventional and alternative medicines the symptoms can be well controlled.
Causes Of Inflammatory Arthritis
The exact cause of inflammatory arthritis is not known. Scientists are not able to find the exact reason that triggers the immune system to behave abnormally against its own healthy joint. Therefore inflammatory arthritis is considered to be an autoimmune disease.
Normally the immune system of the body acts as a bodyguard and releases substances to fight any invading organism such as bacteria and viruses. However, in autoimmune disease such as inflammatory arthritis, body’s immune system behaves abnormally and produces inflammatory response against its own healthy tissue, mainly the joints. The membrane surrounding the joint called synovial membrane and the cartilage is destroyed.
Cartilage acts as a cushion between the two bones in a joint. However, with gradual destruction of cartilage the ends of bones rub against each other giving rise to pain and stiffness. Certain predisposing factors are known to trigger inflammatory arthritis. Women are affected more than men. Inflammatory arthritis can occur in children as well as adults. There is possibility of genetic predisposition.
Inflammatory Arthritis Symptoms
Inflammatory arthritis involves the joint as well as other organs of the body. Therefore the symptoms may vary from one type to other. However, the common joint problem remains the same in any of them.
- Gradual onset of symptoms.
- Pain in affected joint.
- Bilateral joints are affected.
- Stiffness in the joint.
- Affects movement of joint.
- Swelling of the affected joint.
- First movement is painful, but gradually stiffness reduces.
- Joint area becomes warm and red.
- There may be collection of fluid in the joint.
Systemic symptoms include:
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Skin becomes red and scaly in psoriatic arthritis.
- Eyes become dry and red. Itching and burning in eyes.
Treatment And Home Remedies For Inflammatory Arthritis
Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic disease. There is no known cure for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, SLE and psoriatic arthritis. However, in many cases remission is possible after a flare up.
The main aim of treatment is to provide relief to the patient from pain and stiffness of the joint and prevent further deterioration of the joint.
Conventional treatment consists of anti inflammatory medicines and pain killers. Steroids, NSAID’s are usually given for immediate relief of the symptom. However, they have many side effects if taken for long duration. Complimentary home remedies are useful in such case. They are economic as well as they do not produce unwanted side effects.
- Overweight person should reduce his weight if he is suffering from inflammatory arthritis.
- He should avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Regular exercise such as walking, swimming will help to relieve stiffness and also strengthen the muscles supporting the joint.
- Applying hot and cold water to the painful area will help in reducing stiffness and pain.
- Cherries, blackcurrant, and prime rose are useful home remedies to alleviate pain, swelling and stiffness.
- People get relief from alternative medicines such as acupressure and acupuncture.
- Massage is useful in acute flare ups.