Arthritis can be a very painful and debilitating disease that makes even the simplest tasks difficult such as walking and using stairs. Read on to find out more about arthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Painful, stiff and swollen joints are typical symptoms of arthritis. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Sytematic lupus erythematosus (lupus)
- Sjorgen’s syndrome
- Ross River virus
The three most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.
Who Gets Arthritis?
Anyone can get arthritis at any time, although it commonly affects people who are middle-aged or older. Babies, children and teenagers under 16 with arthritis have what is called Juvenile Arthritis.
Causes of Arthritis
The cause of arthritis varies according to the type of arthritis. Mostly the cause is unknown or is a combination of factors that can include:
- Genetic propensity
- Joint laxity (double-jointedness)
- Being overweight
- Repetitive use of particular joints
- Previous bone fracture or surgery
- Having certain metabolic diseases
- Bacteria or viruses
- Physical or emotional stress
- Being female (70% of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are female)
Symptoms of Arthritis
The causes and symptoms of arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Symptoms also vary between each person and from day-to-day but include:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Decreased mobility
- A general feeling of unwellness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Crepitus – the cracking noise arthritic joints make with movement
Where Does Arthritis Strike?
Arthritis can affect any part of the body. Common places in the body include:
- Hands and wrists
- Feet and ankles
- Big toe (in gout)
- Organs of the body such as the skin, heart, lungs and blood vessels
Different Arthritis Needs Different Treatments
If you suspect you have arthritis see your doctor for a complete diagnosis. Treatment will depend on what type of arthritis you have. Although there is no cure, there are many ways to manage your symptoms. Read the article Natural Treatments for Arthritis to find out more.