Arthritis is a musculoskeletal condition characterized by pain in the joints, swelling ad stiffness. There are a large number of conditions that fall under the umbrella of arthritis and each of the condition poses different risks and require treatment. Here are 5 different types of arthritis that broadly affect millions.
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects millions of people across the world. It causes the cartilage of the joints to break down, baring the bones a lot of friction from each other. The other symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness, swelling, and deep, numbing pain when the joints are moved.
Another common form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body malfunctions and starts to cause damage to your own body, especially the joints. It can happen in any joint, but the pain is more commonly manifested in the fingers, hands, and wrists. The distinguishing characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical pain on both sides of the body. Morning stiffness and loss of appetite are common symptoms as well.
Fibromyalgia not only affects the joints but also has a wide range of manifestations including mood swings, chronic fatigue, headache, irritable bowel syndrome as well as memory loss. Fibromyalgia affects certain tender points in the body, located in and around the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and limbs. The patient experiences moderate to severe pain in these points.
Although the exact cause of lupus is unclear, it causes damage joints, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, lungs, and even the brain. This is also an autoimmune disease that results from the immune system revolting against the body. With adequate medical supervision, Lupus, although not curable, can easily be managed. The other common symptoms include rashes across the cheeks, mouth ulcers and sores, sun sensitivity, hair loss, and blue or white fingers or toes when exposed to cold.
Gout occurs with excess deposition of uric acid, a by-product of protein metabolism, in the blood. The uric acid crystals deposit around the joints as hard crystals resulting in pain in the joints of knees, ankles, fingers, wrists, and elbows. The affected joints become so swollen and red that they are hot to the touch.
Arthritis is a condition triggered by genetic and environmental conditions. The best way to deal with it is early consultation with the physician and treatment focussed at controlling the pain. Different forms of arthritis have different modalities of treatment but all of them depend on early detection to delay and minimize the damage to the joints.