Arthritis is a condition that has become more and more common with people who live in North America. In recent studies (Types Of Arthritis Pain), it has been shown that 350 million people worldwide suffer and have arthritis. Almost 40 million people are affected by arthritis in the United States alone. And the numbers always seem to grow.
The main possible reason why the number of people that are affected by arthritis is so high is because the understanding of the disease of arthritis is still in the dark. This is because researchers and doctors still do not know what causes arthritis exactly and how to cure it.
So as of right now people can only take preventative measures to help delay the disease and help reduce symptoms. However, if you have a proper understanding of arthritis the chances of delaying the occurrence will decrease.
What is Arthritis?
Many people come across the term arthritis, but they do not exactly know the correct definition of this medical condition.
Arthritis causes aches, pains, swelling and inflammation of the joints. However, in some cases it can also cause complications with the immune system and with different organs.
In particular specific kinds of arthritis can affect organs which can result in concerning symptoms and complications with the function of them.
Arthritis is commonly found in people that are 65 years or older and in the United States that is almost 23% of the population that is affected by this medical condition.
The most common of all the kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Unfortunately, there is no cure that is found yet for arthritis. However, there are treatments that are designed for specific arthritis.
The treatments and/or preventative measures are used to reduce pain, stiffness, swelling, inflammation and other symptoms. Treatments are also used to slow down the development of arthritis so people can try and live their normal daily routines without any restrictions.
Types of Arthritis:
The medical condition of arthritis is so complicated to understand because of how many different types of arthritis there are and because of how many subcategories there are.
It is known that there are almost 200 different kinds of arthritis and they are divided up into different categories.
Inflammatory arthritis occurs when inflammation develops in the body for no reason. Usually, inflammation in the body develops as a way to help protect bones and organs. However, with inflammatory arthritis it does not aid in any way with repairing the body.
It can cause joints and bones to become damaged which can cause pain, stiffness and swelling. Some different types of arthritis that are connected to inflammatory arthritis include Reactive arthritis (RA), Ankylosing arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis which are just a few.
Degenerative arthritis is the damage of the cartilage which covers the ends of the bones for protection. In addition, it helps with making the joints glide and move easily.
However, if someone has degenerative arthritis the function of the cartilage will become thin and rough. Which will make it harder for movement in the joints and in some cases the bones overgrow which can change the shape of the bones. This is most commonly found in people who have osteoarthritis.
Soft Tissue Musculoskeletal Pain
Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain is caused when muscle tissue is damaged with wear and tear of daily activity and/or exercise.
Also from injury and overuse, most commonly known as a tennis elbow. It can not only affect the tissue but can also affect the bones, muscle, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
The most common type of arthritis under this umbrella is called fibromyalgia. This can cause pain in the muscles, tendons and/or ligaments.
Back pain is a very common condition among people of all ages and sex. Back pain is usually linked to bones, muscles and ligaments and how they are used and work together. In some cases back pain can also cause spine inflammation. However, people who experience chronic back pain are often linked to arthritis.
The most common kind is osteoarthritis.
Connective tissue disease is a disease that affects supports, binds, connects and/or separates body tissue and organs. Many of these diseases including arthritis are connected to abnormal immune system activity which has inflammation in the tissues because the immune system is going against its own body.
It can consist of and be within the tendons, ligaments and cartilage. The inflammation can occur in the skin, muscles and/or organs. This can be extremely painful on the joints.
The most common types of arthritis that goes under this category include SLE, Scleroderma, and Dermatomyositis.
Infectious arthritis is a kind of inflammation caused by bacteria that enters the joints. This type of arthritis usually occurs when the body has already experienced a virus somewhere else in the body. However, if the virus is caught and treated in a timely manner a case of infectious arthritis can be cleared.
However, if it becomes of chronic it will be something that you will most likely have forever. Usually, only one joint is harmed and would be found in large joints like the shoulders, hips and knees.
Metabolic arthritis usually comes in the form of gout which is a type of an acute arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints. This occurs because some people produce too much of Uric Acid. This chemical is created when the body breaks down substances called purines.
When too much of it is built up it can cause crystals to form in the joints. This can be really painful and can cause gout to form. It is commonly found in the big toe, heel, ankle, hands, wrist or elbow. It can come and go and can even become chronic.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder which affects the lining of the joints which causes pain, swelling, bone erosion and deformation of the joints. In addition, because of the inflammation that rheumatoid arthritis causes it can affect the lining of joints and the organs.
It also compromises the immune system which makes it harder to fight off colds and/or infections. Doctors and researchers still do not fully understand the health condition of rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that is found in people and is the most preventable as well. It occurs when cartilage begins to thin, this usually happens because of age and prior injury.
The development of osteoarthritis is a gradual process which breaks down the tissues and cartilage which can lead into stiffness and pain in the joints. It usually affects the joints in the hips, knees, hands and the spine.
However, with exercise and a healthy diet many people can prevent developing osteoarthritis in their lifetime.
Childhood arthritis or juvenile arthritis is a terminology used to put all kinds of children arthritis under one kind of category.
It is a disease where there is inflammation and/or swelling in children’s joints that are under the age of 16. Children who experience arthritis is usually linked to autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the body rather than protecting it.
Like many of the other kinds of arthritis, doctors and researchers do not exactly know why this disease occurs which is why there is no cure. The most common types of childhood arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, chronic arthritis, idiopathic arthritis, and systemic arthritis.
What Causes Arthritis?
Types Of Arthritis Pain
There is not one specific cause for arthritis since there are so many kinds. There could be one element that causes arthritis or more than one.
Here are some possible causes why some people have arthritis:
- Abnormal metabolism
- Overuse of the immune system
- Combination of many factors
- Some foods may cause the development process of arthritis to increase but not often
- Not having normal amounts of cartilage because of wear and tear
Symptoms of Arthritis:
There are 5 main symptoms for arthritis include:
- Difficulty moving joints
Diagnosis Process of Arthritis:
The diagnosis process of arthritis usually starts off with the patient’s medical history, symptoms physical examination and x-rays. Tests are done depending on the suspected type of arthritis that someone may have.
Some of those tests include:
- Rheumatoid factor
- Anti-CCP antibody
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- C-reactive protein
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
- Joint ultrasound or MRI
- Joint X-ray
- Bone scan
- Synovial fluid analysis
Treatments and Preventative Measures for Arthritis:
As discussed before there is no cure yet for people that suffer and have arthritis; however, there are treatments and preventative measures that are available to help with minimizing damage, pain and discomfort.
Also to help improve the quality of life.
Here are some possible treatments and preventative measures that people use that have and/or suffer from arthritis:
- Physical therapy
- Non-pharmacologic therapy
- Weight loss
- Exercise ( walking, swimming, and biking)