The condition arthritis can be defined as the inflammation of the joints. The major symptoms of arthritis are pain in joints and inflexibility, which usually become intense with age. These are the two most common types of arthritis osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is generally caused by normal old age and rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Other types of arthritis can occur due to uric acid crystals, infections and underlying disease like psoriasis. The pain due to arthritis caused by joint damage. Joints consist of the following parts:

Cartilage

Cartilage is a hard, but smooth coating on the ends of bones, cartilage permits bones of the joint to move smoothly over each other.

Joint capsule

This is a membrane which encloses all the joint parts.

Synovium

This is a thin membrane which lines the joint capsule and produces synovial fluid, which makes the joint slippery and nourishes the cartilage.

The most usual signs and symptoms of arthritis include the joints. Rely up the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms also include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

Treatment options:

Medications

The medications used in the treatment of arthritis alter, rarely upon the type of arthritis. Normally used arthritis medicines contain:

Analgesics

These types of medications help in decreasing pain, but these medications do not have any effect on inflammation. Examples are acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), narcotics containing oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin, others) and tramadol (Ultram, Ryzolt).

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs treat both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). Few types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are accessible only by prescription. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause stomach problems like irritation, and few may enhance the risk of heart attack and stroke. Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also accessible as creams and gels, which can massage on joints.

Counterirritants

Few types of creams and ointments which contain menthol or capsaicin, these ingredients make hot peppers spicy. Massaging these preparations on the skin over the aching joint may obstruct the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are often used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs decrease or stop the immune system from attacking the joints. Examples are hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and methotrexate (Trexall).

Biologics

These are commonly used in combination with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, biologic response modifiers are genetically made drugs that aim many protein molecules that are included in the immune response. Examples are infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel).

Corticosteroids

This type of drug, including cortisone and prednisone, and decreases inflammation. Corticosteroids can be used orally or also used in the form of injections directly into the painful joint.

  • Therapy

Physical therapy can be effective for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve the motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints.

  • Surgery

If other treatment options do not work so surgery is the only cure.

Joint replacement

In this procedure doctors remove the damaged joint and replace it with an artificial joint. Joints of hips and knees are most commonly replaced.

Joint fusion

This procedure is common for smaller joints like joints in the wrist, joints in the ankle and fingers. It typically removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and then fix those ends together until they heal into one stiff unit.

  • Home remedies

Home remedies include the following:

Weight loss

Losing weight will decrease the stress on the weight-bearing joints. This may enhance the mobility and prevent future joint injury.

Exercise

Exercising can help in keeping joints flexible. Swimming is usually a good choice because the buoyancy of the water decreases stress on weight-bearing joints.

Heat and cold

Heating pads or ice packs may help in decreasing arthritis pain.

Assistive devices

Using walkers, raised toilet seats and other assistive devices can help in protecting the joints and enhance the ability to perform daily tasks.