What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a very common problems that affects joints. This can cause pain and swelling, making it difficult to move or stay active. There are many types of arthritis. Each form causes different symptoms and may require different treatments. While arthritis usually affects older adults, it can develop in men, women, and children of any age.

Arthritis is most common in the following areas of the body:

  • Feet.
  • Hands.
  • Hips.
  • Knees.
  • Lower Back.

What Is Arthritis?

What Are The Parts Of A Joint?

Joints are cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage which plays an important role. It helps joints move smoothly without friction or pain.

Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates joints. Many joints, such as elbow, knee etc, are supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.

Different Types Of Arthritis?

Arthritis is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. The most common types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis, Or “Wear And Tear” Arthritis- It develops when joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress. This is the most common form of arthritis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis- Arthritis of the spine (usually lower back).

Juvenile Arthritis (JA)- A disorder where the immune system attacks the tissues around the joints. JA usually affects children who are about 16 or younger. 

Gout- A disease that causes hard crystals of uric acid to form in joints.

Psoriatic Arthritis- A joint inflammation that develops in people with psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder that causes skin irritation).

Rheumatoid Arthritis- A disease that causes immune system to attack synovial membranes in joints.

Causes Of Arthritis

Not all types of arthritis have a single cause. The cause or causes may vary according to the type or form of arthritis.

Possible causes may include:

  • an injury that can lead to degenerative arthritis
  • An abnormal metabolism, which can lead to arthritis and calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD)
  • A genetic inheritance that can lead to the development of osteoarthritis
  • Infections such as Lyme disease, which can trigger gout symptoms
  • an immune system dysfunction, such as the type that causes RA and lupus
  • Most types of arthritis are associated with a combination of factors. However, some have no apparent cause and appear to be unpredictable in their emergence.

What Is Arthritis?

Risk Factors For Arthritis

Some factors make more likely to develop arthritis, including:

Age: The risk of arthritis increases as you get older.
Lifestyle: Smoking or a lack of exercise can increase your arthritis risk.
Sex: Most of the types of arthritis are more common in women.
Weight: Obesity puts extra strain on your joints, which can lead to arthritis.

Symptoms Of Arthritis

Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. They can be mild in some people and severe in others. Joint pain may come and go, or it may be constant. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain.
  • Redness.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • Warmth.

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