Curb the Pain

by BTM

Tue, 03 October 2017

Curb the Pain

An expert from this well-known hospital sheds light on a common age-related disorder.

If your bones and joints ache regularly and affect your day to day activities, you might have arthritis, says Dr Sahar Saad, rheumatology consultant at the Royal Bahrain Hospital.

She explains that the term is not a single disease, but is used to describe around 200 rheumatic ailments that affect the joints and connective tissue.

The most common type is osteoarthritis – a condition in which the human bones become fragile or brittle. It occurs more frequently in older people. Other related rheumatic conditions include gout and fibromyalgia, which is most common among women.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion. They can be mild, moderate or severe, and may stay the same for years or progress over time.

Leaving them untreated can result in chronic pain, inability to do day-to-day activities, difficulty to walk, or permanent joint damage. In addition, some types of arthritis also affect the lungs, kidneys, eyes and heart.

As with any condition, it is best to treat it early to yield the best results. In most cases, treatment is often delayed as patients fail to recognise the aforementioned symptoms. It can be diagnosed by a rheumatology specialist who uses a physical examination, blood tests and imaging scans to help determine the type of arthritis and chooses the best remedy.

Dr Saad recommends seeking a medical opinion, should joint pain persist for four to six weeks. This, in turn, will enable an early prognosis and treatment to prevent joint damage and deformities, to maintain a good quality of life.

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