Arthritis is an inflammation of the membrane joints, causing varying degrees of pain.
It can occur at any age and is one of the most common diseases across the world. Although the word “arthritis” means joint inflammation, the term is used to describe around 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint and other connective tissue.
Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
- decreased range of motion
- chronic pain
- inability to do daily activities
- Difficulty to walk or climb stairs.
- permanent joint changes such as knobby finger joints
Types of arthritis
This is the most common type of arthritis which usually affects the hands, feet, spine, and large weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
It occurs when your body’s immune system starts attacking your own tissues instead of germs, viruses and other foreign substances, which can cause pain, stiffness and joint damage.
A bacterium, virus or fungus can enter the joint and trigger inflammation. Examples of organisms that can infect joints are salmonella and shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia and gonorrhoea (sexually transmitted diseases) and hepatitis C (a blood-to-blood infection, often through shared needles or transfusions).
In many cases, timely treatment with antibiotics may clear the joint infection, but sometimes the arthritis becomes chronic.
Also known gout or gouty arthritis. It is a very painful and affects the joints, especially the big toe.
It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood. In some people the uric acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joint, resulting in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain, or a gout attack.
Gout can come and go in episodes or, if uric acid levels aren’t reduced, it can become chronic, causing ongoing pain and disability.
- Injury which leads to osteoarthritis
- Abnormal metabolism which leads to gout and pseudo gout.
- Inheritance such as in osteoarthritis.
- Infections such as in the arthritis of Lyme disease.
- Immune system dysfunction such as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
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