Afflictions of the joint can be congenital, inflammatory, traumatic, metabolic, etc. It is almost, always associated with greater levels of morbidity and mortality. The normal facets of life need to be changed to accommodate the problem, and as it affects those around us, it is a social problem, as well. Though traumatic conditions of the joint are more common in the younger age groups, maturity shifts this trend towards inflammatory and metabolic conditions. An inflammatory condition of a joint is called arthritis. It is categorized according to the number of joints and specific causes. The most heard of and most commonly associated with debility is rheumatoid arthritis, and the one associated with metabolic disorders is due to gout. Here, we will discuss gout and its affliction on the joint, rheumatoid arthritis, and how these two are similar and different from one another.
Arthritis is the inflammatory process involved in the area where two bones meet and covered by a joint cavity. The major causes of arthritis can be described as autoimmune causes, wear and tear, broken bone and infection. The symptoms involved in this process are, joint swelling, joint pain, redness and warmth around the joint, reduced mobility and the reduced functionality of the joint. Two of the commonest causes of arthritis we see out there are rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune) and osteoarthritis (wear and tear). The management of these conditions is dependent on the stage of presentation. However, to reduce the morbidity and mortality (especially with autoimmune) it is necessary to have a mixture of physiotherapy along with pharmacological and surgical techniques. The pharmacology will deal with reducing the ultimate cause for it; thus, in rheumatoid arthritis, we use drugs like methotrexate or sulphasalazine to reduce the immune response. Surgery would be required late in the disease or sometimes, to reduce the harmful effect on the daily life.
Gout is caused through the under secretion of uric acid, leading to the formation of urate crystals in different parts of the body. These crystals usually accumulate in the joint, soft tissue and tendons. The structures, which are usually involved, are the big toes, Achilles tendon, malleoli and ears. The joint inflammation is inevitable due to the crystalline formation and wear and tear due to the formed structure. They complain of a sudden onset of pain, with a fever that resolve in a couple of days, but can occur in any time it pleases. The pharmacological management involves the use of analgesics, agents to reduce urate production and some anti inflammatory/ immune depressant agents. The dietary restrictions are put in place, as well, as most urates are produced through dietary agents containing purine.
What is the difference between Gout and Arthritis?
Arthritis and gout both affect the joints, and gout is one cause for arthritis. Gout is due to the accumulation of metabolites, and arthritis has many causes like immunological, trauma, as well as metabolite collections. Commonest arthritis types are autoimmune, and they are managed with immune suppressant, physiotherapy and surgery. Gout arthritis is managed with pain killers and reducers of urate. Autoimmune arthritis usually has a poorer out come and continuous throughout the life. But gout arthritis has a good out come and symptomless in between flare. Both conditions have the five cardinal features of inflammation; redness, swelling, warmth, pain and reduced functions. Both require analgesics for management and specialized care.