...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!
Arthritis Treatments: The false notion that all arthritis is alike has led people to try treatments that have little effect on their symptoms. Since each type of arthritis is different, each type calls for a different approach to treatment.
For years, arthritis treatments for pain and inflammation have had limited success, using medications, local steroid injections, and joint replacement. Seldom did the therapies make the pain go away completely or for very long, nor did they affect the underlying joint damage.
But now there are some new treatments available, and patients should consult with their doctors to determine which are the most appropriate for their conditions.
Available treatments for the following types of arthritis:
Arthritis is characterized by inflammation (signs are redness and/or heat, swelling, and pain) and loss of function. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness. They especially affect joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles, although some rheumatic diseases can also involve internal organs. An estimated 43 million people in the United States have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions; they are the leading cause of disability among adults age 65 and older.
Many people use the word "arthritis" to refer to all rheumatic diseases. However, the word literally means joint inflammation. There are more than 100 rheumatic diseases, and the many different kinds of arthritis are just a portion of the rheumatic diseases.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million adults in the United States. When people talk about "arthritis," they are usually referring osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis primarily affects cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the ends of bones within the joint. The cartilage begins to fray and may entirely wear away. Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness. Disability results most often when the disease affects the spine and the weight-bearing joints (the knees and hips).