Dr. Sangeetha KN

Consultant - Rheumatologist

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Reviewed by

Dr. Sangeetha KN

Consultant - Rheumatologist

Manipal Hospitals, Mysuru

Arthritis: Valuable Insights From A Rheumatologist

Reviewed by:

Dr. Sangeetha KN

Posted On: Oct 09, 2023

blogs read 4 Min Read

Arthritis: Symptoms, Treatment - Valuable Insights from a Rheumatologist

October 12th every year marks ‘World Arthritis Day (WAD)’. With this WAD just around the corner, in this article, we bring forward some vital information about arthritis as we discuss the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and impact of arthritis on reproduction.

What is World Arthritis Day (WAD)?

It is a day chosen in particular to spread awareness about arthritis among the general population. There are many myths related to arthritis, related to what it is, whether it causes crippling, whether patients can lead a normal life or not, the impact it has on the other organ systems, available treatment options, and side effects, etc. WAD aims to address the myths and impart the right knowledge to all audiences.

What is Arthritis? Is it Confined to Joints?

Arthritis in general terms, means inflammation of joints. It can affect any age, any gender, and people of all socioeconomic status. It is not confined to joints. It is a multisystem disease and if left untreated can involve blood cells, blood vessels, glands, nerves, skin, eyes, and lungs. It is not a disease by itself, but a manifestation of many diseases. 

Visit the best rheumatology hospital if you are experiencing arthritis symptoms and need treatment and care. 

What are the Causes of Arthritis?

  • There is no specific cause for arthritis. It can be a sequela of any infection (predominantly viral infection). One such commonly known infection is Chikungunya. Other infections that can cause arthritis are tuberculosis, leprosy, gonococcal infection, and any viral infection. 

  • However, infection need not be present for arthritis to begin in all cases. In most individuals, any autoimmune or systemic diseases like diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc., may also cause arthritis. Hence, genetics also plays a vital role in the development of arthritis.

  • In people with ankylosing spondylitis, there is a strong family history of spondyloarthropathy and positivity of HLAB 27. 

  • Hence, we cannot say for sure that arthritis is caused by one specific entity. 

How is Arthritis Evaluated?

Most of the diagnosis is made by detailed history and thorough physical examination. Investigations help us to confirm the diagnosis, prognosticate and initiate medications, and monitor response to treatment and side effects. Sometimes, in doubtful cases, immunological tests, imaging, etc. are needed.

How is Arthritis Treated?

Currently, there are various treatment options available for treating arthritis. The treatment is decided based on the age, gender, reproductive capacity, and presence of other systemic diseases. The drugs specific to arthritis may take at least 2.5- 3 months to start showing their effectiveness. Following regular medications is crucial during this period. Skipping or stopping the medication before it starts working may hinder the effectiveness of the treatment. Steroids, painkillers, or anti-inflammatory drugs form a part of the treatment of arthritis. However, they are not used in high doses and for long duration. Immunosuppressant drugs may have to be intensified when there are evident side effects in the lungs, blood vessels (vasculitis), nerves, etc. Such cases may require higher immunosuppressants and increased steroid doses to control the disease. 

Consult a top rheumatologist if you require rheumatoid arthritis treatment. 

Does Arthritis Have an Impact on Reproduction?

Arthritis per se does not affect the reproductive capacity of an individual. However, to have a successful pregnancy and uneventful delivery, one must follow the instructions given by the rheumatologist, wait until the disease is under control, and switch to medicines that are safe for the mother and the baby. The rheumatologist will provide appropriate guidance in planning the pregnancy and monitor the expectant mother's health and the baby’s in-utero growth throughout the pregnancy.


Arthritis, although commonly presents as inflammation of the joints, has a multisystem involvement and has to be promptly treated. The arthritis treatment is determined by careful evaluation of the patient's physical parameters and health status. If planning a family while on treatment for arthritis, it is crucial to follow the instructions of a rheumatologist. If you are seeking arthritis treatment, book an appointment at the Manipal Hospital, Mysore.


1. When to seek medical help for arthritis?

If you experience pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, or feeling of warmth around your joints, or the pain intensifies with exercise, or there is restricted movement at the affected joint, it could be arthritis. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended to seek medical help. You can book a consultation with the best rheumatologist in Mysuru at Manipal Hospitals. 

2. Can arthritis affect children?

Arthritis can affect individuals of any age group. Studies have shown that, in India, 1 to 4 in every 1000 children may be affected with arthritis.

3. Is arthritis curable?

Currently, arthritis is not curable. However, it is managed with various treatment options. The choice of treatment depends on the age, gender, severity of the condition, and medical history of the affected individual.

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