So many of us are suffering from arthritis or know someone living with it. Learn more about it here.
Arthritis is inflammation of a joint. Symptoms of arthritis may include pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and limitation of movement.
There are over 100 types of arthritis. Three common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones—formerly separated by the cartilage—rub against each other, resulting in damage to the tissue and underlying bone and causing painful joint symptoms.
It occurs throughout the world and in all population groups. Osteoarthritis is equally common in men and women, but women tend to develop symptoms earlier.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammation of the membranes or tissues lining the joints. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis may destroy the joint tissues, including cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone, and, in rare but severe cases, may cause organ damage.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
-Painful, swollen, stiff joints. The same joints on both sides of the body (symmetrical) are usually affected, especially the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and feet.
-Morning stiffness. Joint stiffness may develop after long periods of sleeping or sitting and may last at least 60 minutes and often up to several hours.
-Formation of bumps (nodules) in the pressure points on the body, such as the elbows, knuckles, spine, and lower leg bones.
-Fatigue, a general feeling of illness (malaise), mild fever, a loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Medicine may help control rheumatoid arthritis or prevent the disease from getting worse, which can reduce the risk of permanent disability. Surgery may be needed for severely deformed joints.
Gouty arthritis (gout) is an inflammatory joint disease that causes acute pain and swelling. It is a form of arthritis that develops when uric acid crystals form in and around the joints, commonly affecting the big toe joint (this symptom is called podagra). People who have gout may have a very painful attack in one or two joints followed by the total disappearance of all symptoms until the next attack.