Arthritis: Diseases & Conditions That Affect Joints

Arthritis means “joint inflammation,” and is used to describe more than 100 different diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround joints, and other connective tissue. Arthritis can affect people differently. It is common in adults 65 and older, but it can affect people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups.

Arthritis vs normal joints

Types

Arthritis types

There are over 100 types of arthritis. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis Arthriris, the most common form of arthritis, is a progressive degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage associated with risk factors, such as overweight/obesity, history of joint injury and age. Osteoarthritis pain, stiffness, or inflammation most frequently appears in the hips, knees, and hands.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, a systemic disease characterized by the inflammation of the membranes lining the joint, which causes pain, stiffness, warmth, swelling and sometimes severe joint damage.

Common types of arthritis

Causes

If you have arthritis something goes wrong with the joint(s). What goes wrong depends on what type of arthritis you have. It could be that the cartilage is wearing away, a lack of fluid, autoimmunity (your body attacking itself), infection, or a combination of many factors.

Prevention

Currently, prevention of arthritis focuses on avoiding joint injury and early diagnosis and treatment. Research clearly demonstrates that early diagnosis and treatment can result in less damage, deformity, disability, and even mortality in rheumatoid disease. The treatment of rheumatoid disease is not only more effective but easier when administered early.

Additionally, maintaining overall good health and strength with exercise and good nutrition can be helpful in preventing joint disease.

Be physically active.  Physical activity and weight management are important and can help manage the pain and stiffness from many forms of arthritis. Whether you are starting your own routine or want to join a program, there are many options for you to choose from.

Protect your joints.  Whether you are working out or working in the yard or just looking for a way to be kind to your hard-working joints, it is important to minimize the trauma they experience.

Sources:
http://www.emedicinehealth.com
http://www.arthritis.org
http://www.arthritis.com

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