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Severe arthritis can affect your quality of life. It can make it difficult for you to walk or do daily tasks. In some cases, arthritis can cause the joints in your body to become twisted and deformed.

Arthritis is diagnosed in several ways. Your doctor may review your personal and family medical history before doing a physical exam. As part of the exam, they will look at your joints to see if they are swollen, stiff, or red. Your doctor may move your joints to test your range of motion and compare the joints on both sides of your body. Lab tests and imaging tests such as x-rays exams, MRI scans, and ultrasound imaging are also used to diagnose arthritis.

Diagnosing arthritis can be tricky because the symptoms may come and go, or they might be mistaken for an injury or simple overuse. Also, the different types of arthritis can sometimes be hard to tell apart.

Treating arthritis depends on the type of arthritis you have and the severity of your symptoms. Treatment may include medications, injections, physical therapy, and surgery. It is important to note that often there is no cure for most types of arthritis. However, for many people with arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment are keys to preventing long-term pain and disability.

There are some steps you can take to help manage your arthritis. Exercise can be very helpful, but you need to balance activity with rest. Getting enough sleep is important, too. You should also try to manage your pain so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Ask your doctor for tips on taking care of yourself with arthritis.

When to See a Doctor

Symptoms of arthritis may include pain, swelling, and inflammation of the joints. These symptoms may also indicate other medical conditions. It is important for you to talk to your doctor if you have pain or any other symptoms of arthritis. Your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist [roo-muh-tol-uh-jist]. A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating different types of arthritis.

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Arthritis is a broad term used to describe inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis is not a single disease: There are more than 100 different types of arthritis.

According to the National Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have an arthritis condition. It is the nation’s #1 cause of disability. Arthritis affects people of all ages, but older people are more commonly affected. Also, arthritis is more common in women than men.

Each type of arthritis has its own cause and treatment methods. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common type. Osteoarthritis involves the natural wear-and-tear damage to the cartilage in your joints.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the joints.