What bacteria cause mono

Arthritis - when joints become inflamed

Any joint in the body can become inflamed. If only one joint is affected, doctors speak of mono- or monarthritis. Mono is Greek and means something like only or alone. In contrast, polyarthritis - poly means a lot - affects several joints. Typical are pain, swelling, redness, overheating and limited mobility of the affected joint.

Sometimes an inflammatory joint effusion occurs, in which fluid or pus collects in the joint. The inflammation can appear very suddenly, in which case it is known as acute arthritis. Chronic arthritis, on the other hand, is a protracted disease. There is a risk here that the joints will be destroyed over time, deform and no longer function properly.

The causes are manifold

The most common causes of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial or viral infections, metabolic diseases and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis - also known as rheumatoid arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis - is the most common chronic inflammatory joint disease. The exact cause has not yet been clarified. Among other things, a dysregulation of the immune system is being discussed - which is why the doctor also describes the disease as a so-called autoimmune disease. In this case, the body does not recognize the synovial membrane as the body's own tissue. He considers them to be alien and thus triggers an excessive immune reaction that leads to joint inflammation. The hands are often affected and the inflammation often occurs in mirror image or at the same time in the left and right joint.

Arthritis due to infections

Often, infections with bacteria or other pathogens are also responsible for joint inflammation. They can cause inflammation directly at the joint - typically caused by staphylococci or streptococci in this case - or they can migrate from another source of inflammation in the body via the bloodstream to the joint. For example, otitis media or cold sores can lead to arthritis.

With a viral infection such as rubella, mumps, or hepatitis B, joint inflammation usually accompanies the infection. Sometimes, however, arthritis also occurs when an infection has long since subsided. This can happen, for example, after an infection with chlamydia or salmonella.

In Lyme arthritis, certain bacteria, namely Borrelia, which are transmitted by ticks, are responsible for the arthritis. After a tick bite and the resulting infection with the pathogen, a flat reddening occurs in the first stage around the bite, the wandering redness, medical erythema chronicum migrans. If the infection is left untreated, joint inflammation will occur in every second case, among other things, often on the knee.

Arthritis due to metabolic disease

Usually it is an attack of gout that causes painful inflammation of the joints. It usually occurs suddenly and only in one joint, typically the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe. The reason for this is an increased level of uric acid in the blood, as a result of which uric acid crystals are deposited in the joint and cartilage and lead to inflammation.

Arthritis due to joint wear - medicalArthrosis

In osteoarthritis, the articular cartilage continues to wear down due to permanent overload, lack of movement and natural wear. Small pieces of worn cartilage can cause inflammation in the joint, which further damages the cartilage.

Concomitant arthritis

Joint inflammation can also accompany other diseases, for example psoriasis. The specialist speaks in the case of the so-called psoriatic arthritis. Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can also lead to arthritis.

The examination at the doctor

First, your doctor will ask you in detail about your symptoms. For example, he will inquire whether one or more joints are painful, how long the pain has been going on and whether it occurs with certain movements, at rest and at certain times of the day. This is followed by the physical exam, during which your doctor palpates and moves the affected joint. A blood test is also usually necessary, as certain inflammation values, rheumatoid factors or bacterial antibodies may be detected in the blood.

In certain cases, a joint puncture is necessary, in which the doctor draws fluid from the joint for examination in the laboratory. An X-ray examination can be used to visualize inflammatory or chronic changes in the joints. If necessary, further examinations can follow, such as a computed tomography, i.e. layer x-rays, a joint reflection, medical arthroscopy, or a tissue sample, a biopsy.

Treatment and course

Regardless of the cause of your arthritis, you are doing something good for your inflamed joint if you take care of it, store it up and cool it. The actual therapy then depends on the respective cause.

Acute arthritis

Acute joint inflammation caused by a bacterial infection usually requires antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics kill the bacteria or prevent them from multiplying and spreading further in the body. If there is pus or fluid in the joint, the doctor can puncture the joint or use an arthroscopy or arthroscopy to flush the joint and, if necessary, introduce medication. If the course is severe, joint surgery may be necessary. In addition to the treatment, the doctor usually prescribes pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - NSAIDs for short, for example ibuprofen or diclofenac - or cortisone.


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Chronic course

Chronic inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can affect joint function over time. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause permanent joint damage. To prevent this, there are special rheumatism drugs, the so-called basic therapeutic agents, as well as drugs that affect the immune system.

With physiotherapy and physical therapy such as heat and cold applications or with occupational therapy, you can also improve your mobility, stimulate the metabolism in the joints and train joint functions.