What is Arthritis?

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Arthritis is a disorder of the joints. It is the inflammation of one or more of the joints. The two most common type of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The disease gets worse with age and is mostly common in people above the age of 50 years.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by normal wear and tear of the joint, infection of the joint, or age whereas rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Other types of arthritis can be caused by uric acid crystals, infections or even an underlying disease such as psoriasis or lupus. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection. Treatment of the disorder may vary according to the type of arthritis. The main objective of the treatment is to manage the symptoms and help in improving the quality of life of people suffering from arthritis

Symptoms of arthritis-
No matter what is the diagnosis, dealing with the arthritis symptoms can be frustrating and terribly uncomfortable. Discover ways to cope with arthritis pain, fatigue and inflammation, while keeping up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs in arthritis diagnosis and treatments.
Arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. Symptoms can include:
o Joint pain
o Joint swelling
o Reduced ability to move the joint
o Redness of the skin around a joint
o Stiffness, especially in the morning
o Warmth around a joint
o Range of motion reduces

Causes of arthritis-
The major cause of the pain associated with arthritis is by damage of the joints. Joints are made up of the following parts:
o Cartilage: It is a hard, but slick, coating on the ends of bones. Cartilage allows bones of the joint to slide smoothly over each other.
o Joint capsule: Joint capsule is a tough membrane encloses all the joint parts.
o Synovium: Synovium is a thin membrane lines the joint capsule and secretes synovial fluid. It lubricates the joint and nourishes the cartilage.

Damage to the joints
The two main type of arthritis damage the joints in the following ways.
o Osteoarthritis- In osteoarthritis, wear-and-tear damage to cartilage can result in bone grinding directly on bone. This can cause pain and restricts the movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
o Rheumatoid arthritis- In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks joints and inflames the synovium. This causes swelling, redness and pain. The disease can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint over the time.

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This article was published on 2012/03/29