Arthritis is something that can have hugely negative effects on a person. They often find that they cannot do those things that they once did due to the pain that they are having.
Arthritis can happen to anyone. And this is a term that covers numerous illnesses associated with the joints.
It is a very common illness to have as almost even one person for five has some form of arthritis.
What Causes Arthritis?
The causes of arthritis are numerous. For example, a person can simply develop arthritis because they are getting older and their joints are not working as well as they once did. Other causes of arthritis can include:
– Damage to the joints such as breaking bones or simply doing repetitive activities with your body
– Being overweight can cause joints to wear harder and sooner than someone who is not overweight
– For those who have parents who suffer from arthritis, chances are they will as well since there are several genes that carry illnesses like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and the like to a person
– More women are affected by arthritis than men
– Infections that affect the joints and trigger inflammation can cause a person to develop arthritis, even at an early age
– For those who work a lot on their knees, or do squats for heavy lifting, this is the type of work that can cause a person to develop arthritis sooner than what they would normally
The causes of arthritis can often be linked back to many things. Therefore, it has become an illness that most people are ready to deal with.
Dealing with Arthritis
Dealing with arthritis is complex. There are several treatment options that a person can utilize, and they may find that a multi-faceted approach to this is best.
Some of the treatment options that can be utilized include:
Many people start with over the counter painkillers and find that they do not respond as they should be after taking for a long period.
In most cases, the person is utilizing an NSAID to help with the inflammation around the joints that are known for causing the pain.
In other cases, people are given prescription painkillers to help when the pain becomes too much.
There are numerous other medications that a person can be given by their doctor to help with this.
These include steroids to help bring down the inflammation, anti-rheumatic drugs that can stop or at least slow the inflammation, and biologics which are drugs that are meant to mimic the body’s response to diseases.
Splints can be worn to help with the pain in certain areas of the body such as the knees and wrists, which are common areas for arthritis.
Weight loss can help to lessen the pain that you have as it can help relieve the extra weight that could be causing the extra pain in these joints.
Another option that has recently been highlighted is cartilage injections. And these are becoming the go-to treatment for many of those who suffer from arthritis.
Cartilage Injections: What are They?
With cartilage injections, a person will have a hyaluronic acid substance injected into the joint. This substance is going to lubricate the joint.
Those who have arthritis will find that the hyaluronic acid that is naturally found around the joint becomes thinner and less effective, resulting in the pain.
These injections are going to replace the cartilage that has been lost, resulting in less pain.
The Procedures for Cartilage Injections
The procedures for the cartilage injections involve quite a few different aspects to get this to work.
To begin with, the doctor is going to examine the patient, and take x-rays of the damaged area to see if the joint would benefit from cartilage injections.
From here, the doctor will decide whether injections would be a good idea for that person or not.
Once the patient has been confirmed that injections would help them with their pain, the actual procedure is only going to take a few minutes to complete.
The process includes:
1- Some patients may be given an IV line to help with relaxation, depending upon where the cartilage is being placed. For those who are getting this in a knee, they can often bypass this step.
2- Local anesthetic is used to numb the local area where the needle will be going into the skin.
3- X-ray guidance helps the doctor to pinpoint the exact location for inserting this cartilage. Contrast dye may be used to help guide the doctor even more and then to confirm that the cartilage is reaching the joint as it should be.
The entire process can take around thirty to sixty minutes depending upon the joint location.
Once the person has these injections they are going to find that the pain relief may be instant.
People may be told to take it easy at first, within the first few hours of getting one of these shots so that the cartilage can easily spread and cushion the joint as it should be cushioned.
Are there Dangers with these Injections?
One of the most common questions that are asked by those who are considering these injections is whether they pose dangers?
There are a few dangers, but most of these have a very slight risk that means a person will still receive more benefits from doing this than if they put the cartilage into the joints.
The dangers that the patient will be warned about include:
1- Allergic reaction to the medication that is used.
2- Infection at the injection site, which is very low in occurrence.
3- Flare-up at the injection site.
4- The skin may whiten or become thin at the injection site.
5- If a tendon is hit while getting these injections, you will find that it could rupture.
For those who do suffer from arthritis, they are going to find that these injections could help to change their life for the better.