We often see our grandparents and other elder people complain of it, in fact, our parents are not too far from experiencing the same condition—yes, and we are speaking about arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints and millions of elderly people in the US complain from the pain that this condition results to. But contrary to what most people understand, arthritis comes in different types and the arthritis we see in most elders is not the same kind of arthritis which other people suffer from. Here are the three general types of arthritis and a brief explanation of their causes, signs and symptoms as well as the treatments which they need.
Types of Arthritis
Generally speaking, arthritis in knee is an inflammatory disorder of the knee joints due to various causes. This inflammation leads to pain and tenderness of the knee joints. But there are more specific classifications of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis. This is the most common form of arthritis which affects the larger joints. This is the most common form of arthritis that affects the elderly. The cause of this arthritis is excessive stress and pressure to the affected joints. This form of arthritis in knee produces signs and symptoms like early morning stiffness or pain in the knee and other larger joints. Osteoarthritis can occur either unilateral (only on one side) or bilateral (in both sides of the body).
Rheumatoid Arthritis. This arthritis in knee is mostly caused by an autoimmune reaction—which means that the immune system of our body targets the joints and consider them as foreign objects, leading to destruction of said body parts. Since this is an autoimmune reaction, rheumatoid arthritis occurs even among young people and happens bilaterally, that is, in both sides of the body. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis may occur at any time of the day. This arthritis may occur in other body joints, not only in the knees.
Gouty Arthritis. Gouty arthritis is the last form of arthritis and is due to a metabolic disorder. The body is unable to metabolize protein completely which leads to the accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream. When these uric acid accumulates, crystallization occurs and what’s more is that these crystals tend to stick into the joint areas…more specifically in smaller joints. Crystallizations may be evident from the outside of the skin which are characterized by nodules called tophi.
Treatment for Arthritis in Knee
The treatments for arthritis generally depend on the type of arthritis that a person suffers from. Thus, it is best to have yourself checked by a qualified physician. Basically, arthritis in knee is treated with anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Hot and cold compresses on the affected area will also help a lot. More specific treatment medications may be prescribed like steroids (rheumatoid arthritis) and colchicine (for gout). Most people with arthritis are advised to take a rest and not to exert too much effort on the affected area when arthritis attacks.