Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints.

Classification –There are several diseases where joint pain is primary, and is considered the main feature. Generally when a person has “arthritis” it means that they have one of these diseases, which include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout and pseudo-gout
  • Septic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Still’s disease

Signs & symptoms–Symptoms generally include Joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints. In some types other organs are also affected, leading to a variety of symptoms

  • Inability to use the hand or walk
  • Stiffness, which may be worse in the morning, or after use
  • Malaise and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Poor sleep
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty moving the join

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by clinical examination from an appropriate health professional, and may be supported by other tests such as radiology and blood tests, depending on the type of suspected arthritis. Comparison of major arthritis for diagnosis

Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis

Gouty arthritis

onset

Months

Weeks-months

Hours for an attack

Main locations

Weight-bearing joints (such as knees, hips, vertebral column) and hands

Hands (proximal interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joint) wrists, ankles, knees and hips

Great toe, ankles, knees and elbow

Inflammation

May occur, though often mild compared to inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis

Yes

Yes

Radiologic changes

  • Narrowed joint space

Osteophytes

Local osteosclerosis

Subchondral cysts

  • Narrowed joint space

Bone erosions

  • “Punched out” bone erosions

Laboratory findings

None

Anemia, elevated ESR and C-reactive protein(CRP), rheumatoid factor, anti-citrullinated protein antibody

Crystal in joints

Other features

  • No systemic signs

Bouchard’s and Heberden’s nodes

  • Extra-articular features are common

  • Ulnar deviation, swan neck- and Boutonniere of the hand

Tophi

Nephrolithiasis

Treatment–There is no known cure for either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (including exercise and weight control), orthopedic bracing, and medications. Joint replacement surgery may be required in eroding forms of arthritis. Medications can help reduce inflammation in the joint which decreases pain. Moreover, by decreasing inflammation, the joint damage may be slowed.

  • Homoeopathic treatment– Homoeopathy is very helpful in treating arthritis. One must consult homoeopathic physician for proper treatment and management of the patient according to their individuality. There are following medicines which are very effective in treating arthritis.
  • Bryonia Alba. – Pain with inflammation which, is aggravated by movement and relieved by moderate pressure and rest.
  • Ledum pal. – Excellent remedy for gout and rheumatism which is of ascending nature, better by cold application.
  • Rhus Tox. – Pain aggravated by first movement, damp weather and better by continuous motion.
  • Causticum – best medicine for arthritis with deformities in joints.
  • Caulophyllum – best remedy for rheumatoid arthritis of small joints.
  • Colchicum – pain worse by motion touch or mental effort, better by warmth and rest.
  • Kalmia lat. – descending type of pain, pain with palpitation of heart and slow pulse
  • Guaiacum. – Gouty abscesses of joints, pain relieved by cold bath and cold application.
  • Calcarea Carb. – Arthritic swelling, knee pain especially in fleshy people which is worse by cold.
  • Benzoic acid – gouty concretions of joints, knee pain due to abnormal deposition of uric acid

  • Hypericum. – Remarkable remedy for rheumatoid arthritis has outstanding action over nerve pain.

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