Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints (areas where your bones meet and move). Arthritis usually involves inflammation or degeneration (breakdown) of your joints. These changes can cause pain when you use the joint.
Arthritis is most common in the following areas of the body:
What are the parts of a joint?
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
What are the different types of arthritis?
Arthritis is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis, develops when joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress. It’s the most common form of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis, or arthritis of the spine (usually your lower back).
- Juvenile arthritis (JA), a disorder where the immune system attacks the tissue around joints. JA typically affects children 16 or younger.
Gout, a disease that causes hard crystals of uric acid to form in your joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis, joint inflammation that develops in people with psoriasis (autoimmune disorder that causes skin irritation).
- Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack synovial membranes in your joints.
How common is arthritis?
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. About 50 million adults and 300,000 children manage some form of arthritis.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
What causes arthritis?
Different types of arthritis have different causes. For instance, gout is the result of too much uric acid in your body. But for other types of arthritis, the exact cause is unknown. You may develop arthritis if you.
Have a family history arthritis.
Have a job or play a sport that puts repeated stress on your joints.
Have certain autoimmune diseases or viral infections .
What are the risk factors for arthritis?
Some factors make you more likely to develop arthritis, including:
*Age: The risk of arthritis increases as you get older.
*Lifestyle: Smoking or a lack of exercise can increase your risk of arthritis.
*Sex: Most types of arthritis are more common in women.
*Weight: Obesity puts extra strain on your joints, which can lead to arthritis.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. They can be mild in some people and severe in others. Joint discomfort might come and go, or it could stay constant. Common symptoms include:
Can a blood test detect arthritis?
There is no blood test that can directly detect arthritis. But if your healthcare provider suspects gout or rheumatoid arthritis, they may order blood work. It looks for uric acid or inflammatory proteins.
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
How is arthritis treated?
There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.
Conservative (nonsurgical) treatments include:
*Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune system’s inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
*Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
- Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.
How can arthritis be prevented?
1.You can lower your chances of developing arthritis by:
- Avoiding tobacco products.
- Doing low-impact, non-weight bearing exercise
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Reducing your risk of joint injuries
Some people find that arthritis feels worse during certain types of weather. Humidity and cold are two common triggers of joint pain.
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku Obinwannem News Writer / Dec 2, 2021