Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain, with more than 50 million adults suffering from some form of arthritis. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis can occur irrespective of age, sex, and race, and is presently considered to be the leading cause of disability in the world. It is considerably more common in women, with the frequency of arthritis increasing as a person gets older. Presently, more than 100 different types of arthritis exist, with each one having a different cause, behavior, and set of symptoms. Here is what you should know about the Arthritis causes and symptoms.
Each common type of Arthritis has a separate cause:
Gradual wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints causes the most common form of arthritis. With the cartilage, which is the hard coating on the joints, wearing off, bones grind on each other during movement, causing pain and stiffness in the joints, called Osteoarthritis.
An abnormal metabolism in the body leads to gout and pseudogout, two common forms of Arthritis.
The body’s own immune system attacks the lining of the joints, which becomes inflamed and swells up. This progressively destroys the cartilage and bone, causing Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Any serious injury to the bones and joints can cause Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis.
Arthritis typically presents itself in a few common ways, which patients should be aware of:
The most common symptom of arthritis is pain in the joints. The pain gradually worsens with activity, age, and the weather as well, eventually making people seek treatment. Arthritis pain typically is an ache in the joints that gets worse with activity and feels better only with rest.
Most arthritis patients face stiffness in the joints, especially after long periods of staying still, such as sitting or sleeping. Stiffness gradually gets better with activity, applying heating pads or taking anti-inflammatory medication in severe situations.
Though the joints can become swollen due to a variety of reasons such as injury or infection, the most common cause of swelling in the joints is Arthritis. If the symptom persists, further investigation can reveal the exact cause.
Once the smooth cartilage in the joints is worn away, the bone becomes exposed, due to which the joint may not move as smoothly. This causes a grinding sensation, and even a sound, when moving.
Joints afflicted with Arthritis typically feel tender. If the joint is tender to touch, it could indicate arthritis. If you feel your lifestyle being held back by increasing joint pain or any of the above symptoms, it is essential to seek an accurate diagnosis and medical intervention. Knowing what Arthritis symptoms to look out for is essential for early treatment. Seeking timely treatment for the joints can allow for simple treatments that treat the condition, without requiring intensive therapy or surgery. Dr. Santosh Shetty is Mumbai’s Leading Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon who believes that awareness, to start with, can reduce the incidence of Arthritis, and has started the initiative of ‘ Fight against Arthritis’, Log on to www.fightagainstarthritis.org for more information.