What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. This joint inflammation can attack some joints. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis affects the lining of the joint cartilage, which leads to pain and difficulty in the movement. OA is generally illness by middle-aged people, especially at the end of the age of 40-an or older. In OA, loss of cartilage can cause bone friction, alter the shape of the joints, and force the bones out of its normal position. OSTEOARTHRITIS often arises in the joints of the hands, spine, knees, and hips.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

People aged between 40 and 50 years generally have a high risk of being exposed to RA. The outer protector of joints is the first place to be affected. Then, the inflammation will spread to the surrounding joints. If a person has RA, they will undergo a change in the shape of the spring, which can lead to fractures and cartilage. If it gets worse, RA can trigger problems on tissues and organs.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Common symptoms of arthritis include:
  • Joint pain, even without movement.
  • Movement of joints becomes limited.
  • Redness of the skin around the joints.
  • Swelling and stiffness in joints.
  • Inflammation in and around the joints.

Causes of Arthritis

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage tissue experiences inflammation, resulting in impaired joint function. Cartilage is a connective tissue that serves to protect the bones from rubbing against each other while it is moving. The cause of arthritis can vary depending on its type.
  • Osteoarthritis involves damage and a tear of the joints' cartilage, which is a slippery and hard coating on the tip of the bone. This damage resulted in a direct friction of the bones, resulting in joint pain and movement being limited. Wear in these joints can occur over many years and can be accelerated by joint injury or infection.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system that attacks the joint capsule layer, which is a membrane that covers all parts of the joints. This coating, known as the synovial membrane, experiences inflammation and becomes swollen. If this process persists, the disease may damage the cartilage and bones within the joints.

Arthritis Risk Factors

Some risk factors for arthritis include:
  • Overweight or obese.
  • History of injuries to joints.
  • Often do heavy activities on the joints.

Arthritis Diagnosis

The doctor will diagnose the type of arthritis by conducting a complete medical interview, thorough physical examination, as well as appropriate supporting examinations, such as:


X-ray inspection is useful for visualizing the bones, such as showing cartilage loss, bone damage, as well as the breakdown of bone spurs. X-rays can also be used to determine disease progression.

Computerized tomography or CT scans

CT scans can be used to visualize the conditions of the bones and surrounding soft tissues.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI utilizes radio waves with strong magnetic field. MRI can produce a more detailed picture of soft tissues, such as cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

Joint Fluid Analysis

Joint fluid analysis can be used to determine the level of inflammation in the joints and help the doctor in concluding the type of arthritis experienced by the practitioner.

Arthritis Prevention

Some preventive measures that can be done include:
  • Exercise is regular and lightweight to maintain the flexibility of joints. A good exercise choice for arthritis is swimming because it does not put pressure on the joints.
  • Avoid excessive and persistent activities involving the joints.
  • Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants prevents and reduces joint inflammation.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and maintain the ideal body weight to reduce the risk of arthritis and reduce the symptoms of the disease.

Arthritis Treatment

Some methods of treatment that doctors will take to treat arthritis, among others:
  1. Drug Administration. In osteoarthritis, the drug is often administered, such as painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, as well as corticosteroid drugs.
  2. Operation Action. In severe arthritis, the doctor may recommend surgery, such as:
  • Arthroplasty (substitutions of joints), to replace damaged joints with artificial joints.
  • Arthodesis (joint merger), the tip of the bone is combined until it is healed and becomes one.
  • Osteotom, which is a cut bone condition and re-aligned.

When to go to a doctor?

If you experience symptoms such as joint pain, limited joint movement, redness of the skin around the joints, swelling, and stiffness of the joints, immediately consult a rheumatology specialist for further examination and treatment.
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