Arthritis - Frequently asked questions

 What is Arthritis

Arthritis is a very common disease affecting the joints , skin and various internal organs . There are over 100 types of arthritis . Your doctor will be able to identify the type of arthritis you have and suggest a form of treatment. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis , which affects the joints.

Should I see a doctor 

You should see your doctor when the following warning signs occur

  • Persistent pain and stiffness on arising
  • Pain and tenderness or swelling in one or more joints
  • Recurrence of these symptoms
  • Persistent pain and stiffness in the neck , lower back knees and other joints

Is there a cure for arthritis 

As of today  , there is no known cure for arthritis . However , by starting a treatment plan many people  find that they are able to continue to lead a happy life.

Who treats Arthritis 

There are many types of physicians who treat arthritis. Your family practitioner may be your first point of contact and may be the person who treats your osteoarthritis. If you really have a serious form of arthritis , you may want to see a rheumatologist, an internal medicine doctor who specializes in arthritis. An orthopedic surgeon would be able to give a second opinion on whether or not surgery is needed.A Physiotherapist can help you use your body and teach you exercises to help keep your joints working

Is arthritis inheritable

Many types of arthritis have no known cause. Some researchers think that there are some genetic forms of arthritis , but it doesn't mean that if your mother or father had it , you will .  

Will I need to have joint replacement surgery 

Joint replacement and other types of surgery may provide pain relief and may restore physical function for some people. Your doctor will be able to help you decide if this is the best course of action for you and perhaps put you in touch with other people in your area who have had this surgery

Will losing weight help my condition

Maintaining your ideal body weight is one way to help manage your condition. Extra weight adds stress to your knees and hips. It has also been shown to contribute and aggravate osteoarthritis, while increasing your risk gout.

Should I exercise even though I have arthritis 

Exercise is an essential part of your treatment . However , you should not force an arthritic joint to work intensely or erratically . You may wish to see a physiotherapist or trainer who will teach you how to properly exercise.

Will I be prescribed medication

There are no medications that can cure arthritis. The medications you may be prescribed will help reduce the pain and inflammation. Since medication is an important part of your treatment you should be aware of all aspects of your drug therapy . Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and other medications you are taking.

What about alternative medicines 

Many alternative medicines might be useful. However there are many unproven remedies that can be dangerous as their mode of actions is unclear. Talk to your doctor first to find out if there is any scientific basis for the method to work. If you are thinking about herbs or other supplements check with your doctor first to make sure that there are no potential interactions with your current medication

Courtesy -  An informative series issued in public interest by Fortis , Bangalore - is meant for informational purpose only , it is not a substitute for a valid opinion from a medical professional. For expert advise , consult medical profession by taking an appointment