Health

What You Should Know About Arthritis

Arthritis does not refer to any single condition as there are many different forms. It is swelling, pain, and stiffness in single or multiple joints. In most cases, you will experience stiffness and pain if you have any form of arthritis. The symptoms get worse as you grow older. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis affects people of all ages and genders in Germantown, but some forms of the condition are more common among older people. If you experience any form of pain around or in your joints that does not fade away after a few days, you need to visit a Germantown arthritis specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Determining the primary cause of your pain is the most significant step towards effective treatment. While there is no known cure for the different forms of arthritis, available treatments have improved significantly over the past years.

Symptoms

If you have arthritis in any form, most of the symptoms will affect the joints. However, some of the symptoms may vary depending on the type. The most prevalent signs and symptoms include:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion

Causes

The two common forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis affect your joints in different ways. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system will attack the joint capsule lining, a tough membrane lining all parts of your joints. The membrane, known as the synovial membrane, swells and becomes inflamed. If left untreated, it will eventually damage the bone and cartilage in the affected joints.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes wear and tears damage to the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage lines the ends of the bones in your joints for frictionless motion. When it suffers damage, the bone’s direct grinding results in pain and restricted movement. The deterioration can be gradual or accelerated by an infection or injury.

It also causes the deterioration of connective tissue that links bones to muscles and connects the joint. Cartilage damage causes swelling and inflammation in the joint lining.

Common Types of Arthritis

Since there are multiple types of arthritis, you should know the specific type you have. While the different types share some similarities, they also have some key differences. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other forms of the condition include:

  • Gout and calcium crystal diseases are a form of arthritis that mainly affects the big toe, causing redness and a burning sensation.
  • Spondyloarthritis refers to several conditions that cause pain and swelling around the joints of the spine.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of spondyloarthritis that causes pain and swelling primarily around the spine’s joints, resulting in the production of more calcium, causing the growth of new bone in the spine.
  • Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition and a form of spondyloarthritis.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis refers to inflammatory arthritis of any kind that affects patients younger than 16 years of age.

To summarize, arthritis is a combination of different conditions that cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in a single or multiple joints. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, inflammation, and a limited range of motion. Common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthritis, ankylosing, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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