There are over 100 forms of arthritis. And the causes of arthritis can vary according to the specific disease. One known cause is that the body’s immune system is attacked and this triggers the body to go into defense mode.
When the body enters defense mode, it attacks normally healthy tissues and causes premature degeneration. During the defense stage the body convinces itself that the healthy tissues are attacking the body. No one knows why the body does this to itself.
Medical professionals think that one possible cause is the person’s environment including any bacteria that the person comes into contact with.
Two common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The latter tends to affect the elderly. Studies performed on people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis show that the disease attacks both the cartilage that holds the joints together as well as the connecting bones.
When someone suffers pain, they can have their doctor perform tests to determine the cause of the pain which may either be a loss of cartilage or the body attacking itself. It is not always easy to diagnose the problem. Doctors may use x-rays and CAT scans to take pictures of the inflamed areas.
Currently, the medical community does not have a cure for rheumatoid arthritis but they have discovered treatment plans that can be employed during the early stages to help reduce the amount of pain and the severity of the damage. Most of the treatment programs designed target easing the pain and preventing the arthritis from spreading to other joints. These treatment plans include the use of drugs.
One type of drug that a doctor may prescribe to treat rheumatoid arthritis is an anti-inflammatory drug. Drugs in this category work to relieve pain in the joints that are suffering.
Doctors will use non-steroid drugs as opposed to aspirin because these anti-steroid drugs require fewer doses. Studies show that by using these drugs people with rheumatoid arthritis can avoid having future bone deformities.
Another type of drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis targets the inflammation caused by the disease. These drugs are non-steroids as well. They take longer to work but they too can prevent bone deformities.
The medical community is exploring other drugs that are currently being used to treat cancer to see if they would treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.