Did you know that there are more than 100 arthritis types in all affecting more than 46 million people in the US today? Surprised? Don’t be.
The term ‘arthritis’ refers to inflammation of the joints (‘Arthron’ – Joints; ‘Itis’ – inflammation).
Arthritis is not a single disease but a group of rheumatic diseases and conditions that result in pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Since the disease attacks joints, it is obvious that arthritis can occur anywhere in the body.
Although many people tend to believe that arthritis affects only the aged, the truth is, it can affect anyone at any age.
While types of arthritis are based on its name like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Gout etc, the most common kinds of arthritis are:
* Elbow arthritis
(also known as facet joint arthritis)
* Arthritis in fingers
* Arthritis in foot
* Arthritis of the hip
* Arthritis of the knee
* Arthritis in neck
* Arthritis in shoulder
A common feature of different arthritis types is the regularity of the symptoms associated with them. In each case, patients experience pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
For instance, patients often have trouble getting out of bed or standing up after long hours of sitting down and so on. If left untreated, symptoms become progressively worse and patients may be unable to accomplish the simplest of tasks like fastening a button or holding a pen!
Determining the exact cause is somewhat difficult. However, several factors contribute to developing arthritis:
* Weight: If you are overweight, you put excess pressure on bones and joints, which in turn makes these parts more vulnerable to wear and tear and injury.
* Age: As you age, cartilage and bones become brittle, increasing the chances of developing arthritis.
* Injury: Previous injuries may result in irregularities in the normally smooth surface of bones. This could lead to arthritis
* Occupation or hobbies: Too much physical stress on any bone or joint can lead to arthritis.
* Infection: Infections can lead to arthritic inflammation within the body.
Approach a medical practitioner immediately if you have any of the above predisposing factors and if you suspect that you are suffering from arthritic pain or inflammation.