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Arthritis: What you need to Know

Arthritis: What you need to Know

A lot of people find that arthritis pain relief like codeine can help greatly with their mobility. It’s a less known fact that there are 100 plus types of arthritis currently known to man. Arthritis is a very common condition and cause inflammation of the joint. In the UK around one in every six people suffer from it, with Osteoarthritis the most common.

Understanding arthritis in its most common forms can be very beneficial. So, here is more information on the most common types, their symptoms and their causes.

1.      Osteoarthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis. It can be simply described as the wear and tear that happens to the body’s joints when they are overused. It’s mostly caused by age but in some cases osteoarthritis it is caused by injuries to joints or obesity which causes excessive stress to them.

The most impacted joints are those that bear weight such as the hips, spine, feet and knees. This type of arthritis usually develops gradually over years or months in some cases. The most obvious symptom is pain to the affected area. People suffering from osteoarthritis don’t often suffer from fatigue which is usually associated with other types of arthritis.

If you’re suffering from this type of arthritis, your cartilage starts breaking down gradually. This is the slippery material that covers the ends of bones in the body acting as a shock absorber. When the cartilage is damaged, it starts wearing away and doesn’t cushion the joint as it should.

For instance, if you’re overweight, the knee cartilage will be damaged because of the stress on the joint causing faster wear and tear. As this happens, the cushioning properties are lost too forcing every movement thereafter to be very painful.

As a matter of fact, you will hear a grating sound when the rough cartilage and the bones rub together. This will also result in very painful bumps and spurs on the end of bones especially in your feet and fingers. Eventually, the lining of the joint will become inflamed, yet another minor symptom of osteoarthritis.

2.      Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an autoimmune disease which refers to the immune system attacking some parts of the body, most specifically the joints. Eventually, this will cause inflammation in the joints which can cause very severe damage if left untreated. Out of every 5 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, one patient will get rheumatoid nodules which are simply lumps that form on the skin. These nodules will most likely form in the joints that get tons of pressure such as the heels, knuckles and elbows.

The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are yet to be discovered. There are a few theories that assume that the immune system suffers considerably after any bacterial or viral infection thereby attacking the joints. Once the joints are weak, the immune system starts attacking the rest of the body. There are 2 chemicals responsible for causing rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.

These include TNF (tumor necrosis factor) and interleukin-1.  There are a few studies that reveal that these chemicals also trigger other parts of the immune system when the patient is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. There are medicines that block the 2 chemicals, improve symptoms and prevent further joint damage for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflamed joints are usually persistently painful and can affect simple tasks such as opening a jar of food, walking, driving and doing daily chores. There is also stiffness in the joints that might start in the morning and may last for hours. The patient might also feel fatigued and experience low levels of appetite. In some cases, you might lose weight, get a fever, rash and get symptoms that affect the lungs, the heart and also the eyes.

3.      Psoriatic Arthritis

People with this type of arthritis suffer from inflammation of both the skin and the joints. Psoriasis presents itself as patchy red and white inflamed areas of the skin that are raised. It mostly affects the elbow and knee tips, the navel, the scalp and any skin around the anus and other genital areas. At most 10% of patients with psoriasis can get psoriatic arthritis. It usually manifests in people between 30 and 50 years of age but can be detected as early as infancy.

About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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