Arthritis: Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness. Learn more about arthritis types, symptoms, causes and treatment. 

What is Arthritis
Arthritis Symptoms

What is Arthritis and what are the symptoms and causes of this condition?

Arthritis is caused by the swelling and pain of one or more joints in the body. As people grow older, the most typical symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, both of which develop worse as a result of the disease. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most prevalent kinds of arthritis to be seen.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, which is the firm, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they come together to create a joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system assaults the joints, starting with the lining of the joints and progressing to the joints themselves.

Gout is caused by uric acid crystals, which grow when there is an excessive amount of uric acid in your blood. Other types of arthritis can be caused by infections or underlying diseases such as psoriasis or lupus, among others.

Treatments for arthritis differ depending on the type of arthritis that has been diagnosed. The primary goals of arthritis treatment are to alleviate symptoms and enhance the overall quality of life for the patient.

In this article, we will talk about “What is Arthritis and what are the symptoms and causes of this condition?. Let’s dive deep into the article which talks about how to protect you from Arthritis.


Types of Arthritis

  • Ankylosing spondylitis, this type of arthritis affects the spine and causes pain.
  • Gouty arthritis is a kind of juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the skin
  • Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs as a result of an injury
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints and other body tissues.
  • Arthritis due to infection
  • Thumb arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the thumb joint

Symptoms of Arthritis

The joints are the most commonly affected by the signs and symptoms of arthritis. The following signs and symptoms of arthritis may occur depending on the kind of arthritis:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • The range of motion has been reduced

Causes of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, and they cause different types of joint damage.


Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent type of arthritis, is caused by wear and tear on a joint's cartilage, which is the hard, smooth coating that covers the ends of bones where they come together to create a joint.

Cartilage protects the ends of the bones and allows for practically frictionless joint mobility. However, if enough cartilage is damaged, bone can grind directly against bone, causing pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over a long period of time, or it can be accelerated by an injury to the joint or an infection.

Aside from the changes in the bones, osteoarthritis also results in the degradation of the connective tissues that tie muscle to bone and hold the joint together. A significant injury to the cartilage in a joint may result in the inflammation and swelling of the synovial membrane.


Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis in hand
Rheumatoid arthritis in the hand

In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system of the body attacks the lining of the joint capsule, which is a thick membrane that surrounds and protects all of the joint components.

This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflammatory and swollen as a result of the inflammation. The illness process might eventually cause cartilage and bone to be destroyed within the joint space.


Factors That Increase Risk of Arthritis

The following are risk factors for arthritis:

Family History

As a result of the fact that some varieties of arthritis are passed down through families, you may be more likely to acquire arthritis if your parents or siblings have the condition.

Age

The chance of developing various types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, increases as one gets older.

Your sexual orientation

Women are more prone than males to acquire rheumatoid arthritis, although men account for the vast majority of those who suffer from gout, another type of arthritis.

Previous joint injury

Injured joints, such as those sustained when engaging in a sport, are more susceptible to developing arthritis in the joint in the future for the same reason.

Obesity

The effects of obesity on joints are numerous, but the most noticeable is the stress placed on your knees, hips, and spine. People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk of acquiring arthritis.


Complications of Arthritis

You may find that performing daily tasks becomes more difficult if you have severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms. It is possible to have arthritis in the weight-bearing joints that make it difficult to walk comfortably or sit up straight. In some circumstances, the alignment and form of joints may gradually deteriorate over time.


Treatment of Arthritis

Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function.

Sometimes there is a need to try various treatments or to combine different treatments with each other in order to be able to determine the best treatment for a specific patient. 

There are several medications available to treat arthritis, depending on the type of inflammation.

If conventional treatment methods do not help and do not achieve the desired results, the doctor may recommend surgery, such as synovectomy and joint fusion.

Many people turn to alternative treatments for arthritis, but there is little evidence to prove their effectiveness. Some alternative treatments help relieve symptoms of only certain types of arthritis.

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