Arthritis Facts

Arthritis Facts Explained

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, you should learn about all of the arthritis facts on what causes the disease and how to find relief from the symptoms. Arthritis is an inflammation and pain in the joints and there are over 100 different types of this condition. People of all ages can get arthritis but it is usually a disease that progresses over a long period of time. You will have to gather all of your arthritis facts to determine what type arthritis you have.

Since there are so many types of arthritis, it is important to know what your symptoms are and where the pain is felt. If your family members have arthritis, this is another thing to consider. It is one of the arthritis facts, that certain kinds of arthritis are hereditary. Here are a few of the most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that happens from wear and tear. It is the breakdown of cartilage that surrounds the joints. Cartilage is a rubbery protein that shields the bones and the joints and keeps them away from each other. It is considered a cushioning and it protects the bones and joints. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition because it becomes worse over time and most people who suffer with this disease are over age 45.  It can affect a few areas of the body that include the hips, knees, feet and hands. Over time, the cartilage can start to degenerate because of an increase in water content. The cartilage begins to flake off or form tiny cracks and the loss of the cartilage cushion leaves the bones and joints exposed. This causes pain and an inability to move properly. Bone spurs can also form around the joints causing more pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. For some unknown reason, the immune system can start to attack the body’s tissues and this includes cartilage cushioning. It causes swelling and pain and eventually joint deformity and bone erosion. Women are at a higher risk for getting rheumatoid arthritis because they have it more often than men. Most of the women who have this disease get it between the ages of 40 and 60. The symptoms of this condition include rheumatoid nodules or bumps directly under the skin, swelling of the joint area, pain and even an elevated fever. At first, this disease only attacks smaller joints in the fingers, hands and wrists. As the disease worsens it can go on to do damage to the hips, knees and neck area. This condition can run in a family and it is considered hereditary.

Psoriatic arthritis is related to the skin condition called psoriasis. It causes red, itchy skin and swollen red patches that can appear anywhere on the body. Although the skin disease usually happens before the pain and swelling in the joints, not everyone who has psoriatic arthritis comes down with this condition. Only 1 out of 20 psoriatic arthritis suffers will get this condition. The symptoms of this illness are skin lesions, abnormal nail formations, joint pain and joint swelling. You can also experience pain and a bit of swelling in the spinal area. Luckily, the pain associated with this disease is not severe most of the time. But a doctor can prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug to reduce swelling and a mild pain reliever to reduce discomfort.  

Make sure to take account of all of your arthritis facts and discuss them with your doctor. Keep a list of all the symptoms you are having because this will help the doctor determine what type of arthritis you have.