Arthritis Specialist Brisbane Northside
For many people over the age of 50, arthritis is a problem that they a choosing to consult their Brisbane GP to help to treat and manage their condition.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. This disease affects people of all ages, sexes, and races. Women are afflicted by arthritis more than men and become more frequent as they get older.
Common arthritis symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement of joints. The symptoms come and go and the pain experiences can range from mild to severe. When arthritis progress to worse over time, mobility and daily activities of the person afflicted may be affected. Arthritis can cause permanent changes in the joints. The changes may be visible, such as changes in the finger joints, but the extent of damage can only be seen on X-ray. There are also other arthritis types that affect other body parts such as the eyes, lungs, and kidneys, to enumerate a few.
This is the more common type of arthritis, which involves damage to the joint’s cartilage – the coating found on the end of the bones. Without the coating, the bones rub on each other and this causes pain and limited movement. This occurs as a person gets older. It can also be hastened by having joint injury or infection.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, on the other hand, is the type of arthritis where the immune system attacks the synovial membrane, which encloses all the joint parts. As a result, the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and swollen and can eventually damage the cartilage and the bone within the joint.
Who Are at Risk?
- Having a family history of arthritis. The genetic make-up of individuals contributes to the risk of arthritis, especially if it runs in families.
- The risk of arthritis increased with age.
- Women are more likely to develop this than men.
- History of joint injury. People who have injured a joint previously (ex. playing a sport), are more likely to develop arthritis on that area.
- Carrying extra weight can put pressure on joints, particularly on the knees, hips, and spine.
How Can Arthritis Be Diagnosed?
If an individual suspects having arthritis, a general physician (GP) should be seen for a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging scans to identify the type of arthritis. An arthritis specialist or a rheumatologist can be involved if there are uncertainties in the diagnosis or if the arthritis is inflammatory.
Rheumatologists address the treatment of inflammatory arthritis, gout, and other complex cases. Meanwhile, orthopaedic surgeons are responsible for joint surgery and joint replacements. In the event that arthritis affects other organ systems, other specialists may be tapped and be included in the healthcare team.
How to Manage Arthritis?
Learning more about the disease and treatment option and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are just some ways to preserve the joints and have a good quality of life. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease and it would be best to consult the GP when the symptoms are onset.
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