Arthritis is the Inflammation of several joints of the body.  It is a term that can be used broadly to describe several medical conditions and more than 40 million people have symptoms of this medical condition.

Women generally suffer more than men, but that really depends on the type, and men should be well aware of Arthritis symptoms.

The inflammation process can also be seen in one Joint such as finger or wrist, but in some people, multiple joints are involved. It is believed that there is over 100 different types or forms.  Osteoarthritis is the most common form and this is a degenerative joint disease.

Essentially, the pain of this condition arises from a breakdown in cartilage. Cartilage protects joints allowing for smooth and purposeful movement. It also absorbs shock when excess pressure is placed on joints or bones.

When cartilage is lacking or injured the bones of the joint tend to feel as if they are: grinding, rubbing, swelling, and this causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

Management of many of the symptoms and this disease often depend on the specific type as well as other underlying medical conditions.

Arthritis Symptoms

–  Pain in one or more joints
–  Pain worse in cold
–  Pain worse in AM or after stiffness
–  Stiffness
–  Swelling of joint
–  Redness of skin around affected joint
–  Warmth of skin around affected joint
–  Tenderness in joints
–  Locking or joints

Causes and Risks:

–  Previous injury
–  Broken bone
–  Autoimmune disease [when body attacks itself because it thinks that it is foreign]
–  General “wear and tear”
–  Infection
–  Age
–  Obesity
–  Physical activity or inactivity
–  Heredity
–  Others

Diagnosis

–  Often Blood tests are helpful
–  X-ray evaluation is essential part of diagnosis.

Other possible types include:

–  Rheumatoid Arthritis
–  Psoriatic Arthritis
–  Gouty Arthritis
–  Septic Arthritis
–  Autoimmune related Arthritis
–  Pseudogout
–  Many others

osteoarthritisTreatment

1.)  Medications

–  NSAIDS
–  Tylenol
–  Aspirin
–  other pain medications
–  other medications depending on type of arthritis

2.)  Physical therapy

3.) Management

–  Stretches
–  Low impact exercises
–  Heat on joints
–  Tens unit

4.)  Bracing of joints

5.)  Arthroplasty [Joint replacement by surgery]

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