Arthritis – What You Need to Know

Despite being one of the most common causes of disability in this country and one of most prevalent diseases experienced by individuals throughout the world, there is a lot of misinformation regarding arthritis. Arthritis actually makes up a number of different conditions and there are over 100 types of arthritis. The causes of arthritis are very and it can affect individuals of both genders at virtually any age but is most common in older adults. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available for this condition ranging from anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers to surgery.

The area where two bones meet is a joint and is an inflammation of this area. When cartilage breaks down, either due to infection, a broken bone, autoimmune diseases or just regular wear and tear, arthritis can result. The cartilage is the body’s natural shock absorber which reduces the amount of pressure placed on the joints and bones during everyday activities like walking or running. In many cases, a breakdown of cartilage and the inflammation that follows goes away once the cause has been treated. When the inflammation does not go away and the pain is constant, an individual will have what is known as chronic arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

The most common symptoms associated with arthritis include limited mobility, joint pain, stiffness and swelling. A person may notice that they are experiencing swelling or pain of the joint along with a reduced ability to move. Redness of the skin and warmth around the joint are also common indicators of arthritis. A person who experiences stiffness of the joint, especially in the morning, they also want to see their healthcare provider about a physical examination to determine whether or not they do, in fact, have arthritis.

A physician will examine an individual and ask them a number of questions regarding their current condition and medical history in order to determine whether or not they have Arthritis. The physical examination will include looking for fluid around the joint, joints that are tender, red or warm, and the range of motion that an individual has with the joint. In extreme cases, arthritis may lead to deformity of the joint and it may be necessary for a person to undergo x-rays or blood tests in order to determine the cause of their arthritis. Generally, an individual of arthritis can experience relief from the symptoms of the by making changes to their lifestyle.

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