Arthritis is pain, swelling with early morning stiffness of the joints. It is not a single disease but the symptom of more than 40 rheumatology related diseases. Two most common diseases are Rheumatoid arthritis and Spondyloarthritis. Lower back and buttock pain with early morning stiffness in a young man for more than 3 months is the characteristic feature of Ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatoid arthritis presents with pain swelling and stiffness of both wrists and hands. Psoriasis is a skin disease that is associated with various forms of arthritis.
Arthritis being a long duration disease need specialized care from a rheumatologist for diagnosis, prognosis, and prevent the joints from the damage. It takes time to get complete relief from the symptoms usually 2 to 4 months.
Steroid use is very frequent in public for relief from arthritis. Use of steroid leads to prompt relief of symptoms followed by recurrence of symptoms even if the steroid is stopped for a day or two. Steroid is increasingly misused in form of muddy colored powder preparation or unlabeled medicines given by many quacks and is even rampant in city as well as villages. White colored intramuscular injections of steroid is often given to patients by quacks causing prompt relief of symptoms. Steroids has many side effects including marked weight gain, puffy cheeks, early cataract, bone fractures, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ulcers in stomach, increased rate of all infections including frequent skin boils, pneumonia etc.
Osteoarthritis is a misnomer and is not a disease but an age related degenerative process of joints most commonly knee characterized by pain on walking, stiffness on changing positions for example standing from sitting position that improves after walking few steps. They have difficulty on sitting crossed leg on floor.