Arthritis is the condition, where you experience pain in the joints of your body parts. This is mainly due to the drying up of the fluids in the joints that help in easier movement. This causes inflammation of the joints, and it gets worsened with advancement in age.
With the inception of newer ways of treatments, arthritis can be treated to a considerable extent. However, the symptoms should be properly diagnosed and tested for the presence of arthritis before going for treatment.
Symptoms of arthritis:
The most common symptoms are swollen joints and excruciating pain in them. The joints might also feel tender and warmer at times.
Prolonged joint pains often lead to stiffness in the joints and it usually gets worse with the passing days and during the morning.
Even after a little duration of inactivity, the joints start to get stiff and start aching. These are also common signs of arthritis.
Frequent weight loss, fatigue, and fever are also common symptoms of arthritis.
Tests for arthritis:
Commonly the test can be broadly classified into two types, namely blood test, and imaging test. Both are performed to diagnose the presence of arthritis or any other related problems that are causing the stiffness of the joints.
These are usually fast and involve the insertion of a thin needle into one of the veins and draw a certain amount of blood. This blood sample is then tested for inflammatory conditions in the body along with arthritis.
The rheumatoid factor is measured with the help of this test. Due to the fact that, rheumatoid arthritis is very common, this test helps in diagnosing the same.
The anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide or anti-CCP is another test, which is performed to measure the number of proteins that the body makes during the inflammatory condition.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR is yet another type of blood test, that is done to measure the speed at which the RBCs (red blood cells) clump together to fall at the bottom of a glass container (tube) in an hour. It is called the sed rate.
Besides the medical tests, there are some other techniques and tests that are performed externally in order to diagnose arthritis in an individual. X-ray, MRI, and USG are common imaging tests that are performed to diagnose arthritis.
Suggested Diagnosis and Tests for Arthritis