How can you treat joint inflammation


Arthritis is the medical term for one Inflammation of the joints. The syllable Arth- comes from the Greek and means joint. The ending -itis indicates an inflammatory process. If the inflammation affects only one joint, it is known as monarthritis. Inflammation of several joints, on the other hand, is called polyarthritis. Basically, you can choose between a acute and chronic arthritis distinguish. While acute arthritis occurs suddenly, chronic arthritis tends to develop slowly and last longer. Arthritis should not be confused with osteoarthritis. The latter is not an inflammation, but a cartilage and joint wear.

Causes and Forms of Arthritis

There are numerous forms and causes of joint inflammation. Arthritis can basically occur in any joint. For example, inflammation of the hip, knee, inflammation of the shoulder, inflammation of the ankle and inflammation of the elbow are among the possible forms of arthritis. In addition, the finger and toe joints are also often affected.

Often the inflammation is one of the causes infection underlying. Bacteria reach the joint either through injuries or via the bloodstream. It is not uncommon for doctors to carry bacteria into the joint during operations or injections. In a quarter of the cases this is found as the causative agent of bacterial arthritis Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.

Arthritis also occurs frequently in rheumatic diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, also known as rheumatoid arthritis, is a chronic inflammatory systemic disease which, due to inflammation of the synovial skin, leads to inflammation of the entire joint. Chronic polyarthritis, like other rheumatic diseases, is one of the autoimmune diseases. Further information on rheumatoid arthritis can be found on the website of the German Society for Rheumatology. Bechterew's disease, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are others Autoimmune diseasesthat can lead to arthritis.

Reactive arthritis is a special form of rheumatic disease. they kick after bacterial infections in the stomach, intestines or urinary organs and affect only a few joints. An example of such reactive arthritis is coxitis fugax. Non-infectious joint inflammation mainly affects children between the ages of four and ten.

In addition to malfunctions of the immune system also include Metabolic diseases like gout to the possible Causing arthritis. The cause of the inflammation of the joint, known as arthritis urica, is an increase in the level of uric acid with the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joint.

Symptoms of joint inflammation

The main symptoms of arthritis are the characteristic signs of inflammation:

  • Pain
  • swelling
  • Redness
  • overheat
  • Function restriction

Depending on the extent of the inflammation, fluid can also form in the joint, causing joint effusion. Additional symptoms may appear depending on the cause of the arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are often exhausted and suffer from night sweating attacks. Muscle pain, pigmentation disorders in the back of the hand and rheumatic nodules are also possible. Rheumatoid arthritis is not limited to the joints, depending on the course. Organ manifestations outside the joints, such as changes in the heart valve or lung inflammation, occur in some patients during the course of the disease.

Typical gout symptoms, on the other hand, are severe pain and pronounced reddening of the joint. The gout attack typically affects the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. Gout nodules are also an indication of a gout disease. These small, spherical and painless skin symptoms, also known as gout tophi, are caused by the deposition of excess uric acid under the skin. They tend to form on the ears, elbows or wrists.

Diagnosis of joint inflammation

At the beginning of the diagnosis there is a detailed survey of the medical history, the so-called anamnesis. Here the doctor asks the patient exactly about his symptoms, his medical history and his living conditions. This is followed by the physical examination. Anamnesis discussion and examination provide initial indications of the underlying disease and the extent of the joint inflammation. However, blood and x-ray examinations are necessary for more detailed clarification. In arthritis, the levels of inflammation in the blood are often increased. Markers of inflammation include:

  • white blood cells (leukocytes)
  • CRP (C-reactive protein)
  • the sedimentation rate

Rheumatoid factors in the blood are an indication of a rheumatic disease. These are special ones Autoantibodiesthat are directed against the body's own structures. It should be noted that an increased rheumatoid factor does not necessarily mean a rheumatic disease. Conversely, the patient may have rheumatism without rheumatoid factors being found in the blood. Therefore, the rheumatoid factor is only ever used in connection with other laboratory values ​​for diagnosis.

If damage to the joint is suspected, the doctor will carry out a X-ray examination by. A destroyed joint structure can be seen here, especially in the case of long-standing joint inflammation. In order to confirm the diagnosis of arthritis, further examinations such as an arthroscopy or a joint puncture, in which fluid is removed from the joint, may be necessary.

Treat arthritis - the right therapy

The treatment of joint inflammation always depends on the cause. This is how the doctor prescribes one bacterial arthritis a high dose antibiotic. If possible, drug treatment is based on a so-called antibiogram. Here pathogens are grown from a joint puncture on a nutrient solution. Tests are then carried out to determine which antibiotic is most effective with the pathogen present. If the antibiosis does not improve within two to three days, there is one operative treatment required. The surgical procedure of choice is this Synovialectomy, in which the inner skin of the joint together with the germs is removed.

Since the reactive arthritis is not a causative agent are present, antibiosis would be useless here. Instead, this non-infectious form of joint inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If the course is severe, this therapy is often not enough, so treatment with glucocorticoids may be necessary.

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The treatment for rheumatoid arthritis relies on different pillars. The medical therapy primarily aims to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. For this, cortisone-like active ingredients and anti-inflammatory pain relievers (NSAIDs) are used. With the help of Basic therapy the progression of the disease and the progressive destruction of joints should be slowed down. Basic therapeutic agents such as methotrexate and leflunomide suppress various inflammatory processes in the body.

In severe cases, the drugs can be combined with other basic therapeutic agents. However, when taking the medication, side effects such as gastrointestinal complaints or changes in the blood count often occur. If the basic therapy does not work, the doctor prescribes Biologicals. These genetically engineered substances specifically inhibit the inflammatory process and damage to the joints, but are significantly more expensive than conventional drugs.

Treatment of gout

If the arthritis is caused by a gout disease, gout therapy is required. in the acute gout attack the doctor prescribes anti-inflammatory pain relievers, Cortisone, or colchicine supplements. The aim of long-term treatment, however, is the Lower uric acid levels and thus prevent future attacks of gout. In addition, drugs such as allupurinol or febuxostat are used.

It is just as important, however, the lifestyle and the Change eating habits. Gout patients should pay attention to a low-purine diet and avoid very lavish meals and fasting. Legumes, meat and offal belong to the purine-containing foods. Alcohol not only contains purines, but at the same time inhibits the breakdown of purines. Therefore, people with high uric acid levels should limit their alcohol consumption or, at best, completely avoid alcoholic beverages. Physical activity, on the other hand, can help to permanently lower uric acid levels.