What is Arthritis?

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As individuals get older, it is only normal for them to experience some discomfort and pain. Especially if they are not careful with their health and diet, encountering some health issues is an expected effect. However, there are also some individuals who are susceptible to diseases.

No matter how healthy or fit their lifestyle is, there are some unexplained reasons as to why they could be affected by a sudden sickness. While it could be hereditary, it could also be a symptom of a condition that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. For this reason, it is important for individuals to get the medical help they need so they can be treated right away.

Arthritis is one of those ailments that commonly have an accompanying ailment. It usually is a sign that there is something in your body that needs to be cared for immediately. If you are bothered by this condition, it is important that you know some basic information about it. Here are some of the things you need to know about arthritis.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition wherein one or more joints in your body are inflamed. Mainly, the condition is followed by joint pain and stiffness. And as an individual matures, these symptoms could worsen if they are not attended to properly.

Symptoms

Apart from joint pain and stiffness, there are other signs and symptoms that are part of the condition. Largely depending on the type of arthritis diagnosed, the signs and symptoms that you may encounter include the following:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Restricted movement

Types of Arthritis

There are two common types of arthritis. These are:

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which involves damage to the joint cartilage due to wear-and-tear. The cartilage is the hard, slick coating that covers the end part of the bones. With enough damage, bone grinding can result straight to the bone. As a result, this could lead to pain and decreased range of motion. Commonly, osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear after many years. It could also be caused by a joint infection or injury.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Compared to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is where the immune system attacks the joint lining of the body. This lining, called the synovial membrane, is a tough membrane that encapsulates each part of the joint. Once affected, it could become inflamed and swollen. Eventually, the cartilage and bone inside the joint could be destroyed if not properly attended to by a physician.

There are other types of arthritis that are caused by an infection, uric acid crystals, or an underlying condition such as lupus or psoriasis. If you suffer from any of the symptoms, it is best that you seek the attention of a physician so you can be given the right diagnosis and treatment. This way, the symptoms can be reduced and you can be relieved of the discomfort and pain.

Who is at Risk for Arthritis?

There are plenty of people who are at risk for arthritis. Depending on a number of factors, you could be one of them. Here are some of the factors that could lead to arthritis:

  • Family History – If your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with arthritis, you may likely develop it as well.
  • Sex – Compared to men, women are more inclined to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Men, on the other hand, are more at risk for gout.
  • Age – As you grow older, your risk for developing arthritis also increases.
  • Obesity – An individual who carries excess pounds tends to stress out his joints, particularly on the knees, spine and hips. This is why obese individuals are at a higher risk for developing arthritis.
  • Previous Joint Injury – Most common among sports athletes, those who have previously injured a joint are likely to develop arthritis.

What are the Complications of Arthritis?

Severe arthritis that affects your arms or hands can make it hard for you to be able to perform your daily tasks. On weight-bearing joints, arthritis can keep you from sitting straight or walking comfortably. In some events, the joints could also become deformed and twisted.

With these complications, it is best to seek the attention of your physician so you can be properly diagnosed and treated. As such, you can go back to your regular, healthy self and arthritis will no longer bother you so much.

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