All You Need to Know About Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition causing pain and inflammation in joints. A large portion of the world population has arthritis and experience problems such as pain in joints, extreme inflammation, loss of cartilage, and limited range of motion. It is a misconception that arthritis only affects elderly people but it can affect people of all ages which include children as well. There are mainly two types of arthritis that affect people the most: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of condition that affects adults in their late 40s. People with a family history of osteoarthritis and women are at higher risk of developing the condition. It can, however, develop at any age because of any injury or other associated conditions such as gout.
In this condition, first of all, the smooth lining of cartilage present in a joint is damaged which limits the range of motion of the joint and also causes pain and inflammation. After there is damage to the cartilage, the bones start to rub against each other creating bone spurs called osteophytes that cause swelling in the joints. In severe cases, the shape of joints can also be altered which forces bones to be displaced from their natural position. The symptoms can be mild at first but with time, they may get worse if left untreated. The joints that are affected by osteoarthritis include hands, knees, spine, and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system affects the joints and causes pain and inflammation. The synovium (the outer covering of the joint) is affected at first and then it spreads across the joints resulting in a changed shape of the joints. It also leads to damage tothe cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis and not only affects the joints but can also cause problems with other body organs and tissues. It often affects people between the age of 40 and 50 years.
In addition to these, there are less common types of arthritis and related conditions such as fibromyalgia, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and polymyalgia.
Symptoms of Arthritis
General symptoms of arthritis include:
- Joint Pain
- Stiffness and tenderness of joints
- Limited range of motion
- Red skin over the affected area
If you have the above mentioned symptoms, chances are that you are at the initial stages of arthritis. it is recommended to consult an experienced physician for an accurate diagnosis and correct course of treatment that could ease the condition and bring it to remission.