Inflamed joints in adults

The risk group includes retirees who have passed the age of 65. But in practice, inflammation of the joints is often diagnosed in people much younger. What is this disease and how to avoid encountering it? Does help?

Symptoms of joint inflammation in adults
What will be discussed in this article is called arthritis. This term is known not only by medics and people who have had to deal with such a diagnosis, but probably everyone. So “popular” is this disease.

– Arthritis is an inflammation in the joint, characterized by pain and excessive accumulation of synovial fluid in the joint,” says Anna Misiyuk, a rheumatologist, head of the anticytokine center with a day hospital at the V.A. Nasonova Research Institute of Musculoskeletal Disorders. – When inflammation occurs in a joint, a person experiences pain in the joint, stiffness (stiffness), there is swelling around the joint, the skin above the joint becomes warmer due to the inflammation and the joint seems hotter, and there is a violation of its functions.
Sometimes the symptoms are not limited to this. According to our expert, sometimes there are also common symptoms: weakness, fever, and unmotivated weight loss.

– It is not necessary that all symptoms are present – sometimes one or several symptoms are present, and sometimes the whole set is present”, emphasizes Dr. Misiyuk.

Causes of joint inflammation in adults
As we have already said, there can be many causes. And, as a rule, inflammation of the joints in adults accompanies some other diseases.

– Inflammations in the joints develop in a number of rheumatic autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritis,” says Anna Misiyuk. – It may occur as a manifestation of systemic connective tissue diseases (such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis, Sjögren’s disease, etc.). Inflammation in the joints can occur in osteoarthritis, in joint trauma, as part of a reactive process in the background of acute or chronic infectious diseases.

In addition, arthritis can be a symptom of other diseases, such as hematologic diseases or cancer. And that’s why, according to our expert, patients with joint inflammation undergo extensive medical examinations.

As with any other disease, diagnosis in this case begins with the examination of the patient and the study of the medical history. But in order to make a correct diagnosis and not to miss anything important, it is also necessary to use laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods.

Laboratory tests (standard):

General blood count,
Expanded standard biochemical analysis of blood,
General urinalysis.

– These tests are mandatory in the diagnostic search. Since the cause of many diseases can hide under the mask of arthritis, a general picture of health is necessary,” explains the rheumatologist.

Specific tests.

– In addition to the standard tests mentioned above, rheumatologists use specific tests,” says Anna Misiyuk. – If we assume the development of rheumatoid arthritis, first of all, immunologic analyses are examined: C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), antibodies to cyclic citrullinated protein (ACCP). If we think of gout, a blood uric acid study is mandatory. When it comes to diseases of the spondyloarthritis group, a genetic blood test is examined. In the case of systemic diseases, immunological tests are taken. Depending on the disease, the range of tests varies, but one of the most important is the analysis of antinuclear factor or antinuclear antibodies.
In addition to taking blood and urine, synovial fluid (which fills the joint cavity) is often tested in patients with suspected arthritis. The examination of synovial fluid is one of the criteria for the diagnosis of gout and other microcrystalline arthritis.

– This manipulation requires a qualified physician and a procedure room equipped according to standards,” says our expert. – The synovial fluid taken may be sent for specific immunological, biochemical or bacteriological testing.

Instrumental studies:

– In addition to laboratory tests, instrumental studies are very helpful to us: ultrasound of the joints, radiographic examination, MRI diagnosis, and in some cases CT scans,” Dr. Misiyuk lists. – It is worth noting that sometimes a diagnosis requires instrumental examination of other parts of the bone system, which patients do not complain about, but in which a pathological process may develop and thus confirm this or that diagnosis, because the same joint can be affected by different diseases.

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