Arthritis is a disease marked by inflammation of the joints. There are two main kinds of arthritis-osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis and involves damage to the joint's cartilage. It results in bone grinding directly on bone and results in pain and restricted movement.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen.
The disease if allowed to progress eventually destroys cartilage and bone within the joint.
The common signs and symptoms of arthritis include:
-> Reduced range of motion
If you notice these symptoms, you must visit your doctor. Your doctor would conduct a physical exam to check your joints for swelling, redness, and warmth. He would also find out how well you can move your joints.
Depending on the physical exam, the doctor may suggest you to go for the following tests:
Fluid analysis- The analysis of different types of body fluids help the medical health practitioner pinpoint the type of arthritis you may have. Fluids that are commonly analysed to diagnose arthritis include blood, urine and joint fluid. In order to obtain a sample of your joint fluid, your doctor will clean and numb the area before inserting a needle in your joint space to withdraw some fluid.
X-rays- X-rays are commonly used to diagnose arthritis. Low levels of radiation are used to visualise the bone. X-rays reveal the amount of cartilage that is lost, bone damage and bone spurs. X-rays are not able to reveal early arthritic damage. They are often used to track advancement of the disease.
CT Scan- Computerized tomography or CT scan takes X-rays from several different angles and combine the information to create cross-sectional views of internal structures. CT scan helps visualise both the bone and the surrounding soft tissues.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI combines radio waves with a strong magnetic field for producing detailed, cross-sectional images of soft tissues, including cartilages, tendons, and ligaments.
Ultrasound- It uses high-frequency sound waves to view soft tissues, cartilage and fluid-containing structures such as bursae.
Arthroscopy- Arthroscopy involves inserting a small, flexible tube called an arthroscope through an incision near the joint. The tube transmits images from inside the joint to a video screen.
Hair analysis test- A lot of doctors these days conduct hair analysis test to diagnose arthritis. Hair follicle analysis involves using a sample of the hair to capture the energy pattern in the body. When the hair sample is scanned, energy signals are emitted. These signals are studied with the help of a special equipment to identify the factors that are causing a negative effect on the overall functioning of the person’s body. Hair analysis is a valuable test for health diagnosis. It allows doctors to identify the exact cause of the disease and treat the root cause thereby.