Arthritis is not a new term, almost everybody has heard of it. But, most often we all do not know much about it. Arthritis is a common condition that has affected millions of people worldwide. It is a term which is used to refers to the conditions that affect joints. Literally, it is defined as an inflammation of joints.
Coping with pain is the hardest part of arthritis as it affects an individual to such an extent that it interferes with the ability to do daily tasks. Pin of arthritis is of two types- acute and chronic. Acute pain is defined as a limited pain and this type of pain lasts for the shorter duration. Whereas, chronic pain is defined as a pain that lasts for a long time and it is an ongoing pain which is not easy to relieve. Usually, the pain of arthritis results from two factors:
- Inflammation that causes redness and swelling in the joints.
- Damage occurs to the joint tissues from the disease, stress, injury or pressure on the joints.
The pain of arthritis can be worsened by certain factors such as emotional or physical stress, poor sleep, fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Stress and depression can make the management of this disease difficult.
There are more than 50 types of arthritis and some of the common types of arthritis are as follows:
1. Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing is a spondylitis disease that mainly affects the spine, accompanied by ongoing inflammation of soft tissue around the spinal bones. Ankylosing spondylitis affects people in different ways as some people may not feel this disease and forget about it. White for others this disease may throw a big impact on them. Some of the common symptoms that occur in ankylosing spondylitis are as follows:
- Lower back or neck pain
- Stiffness in the back, buttocks, and neck
- Pain in tendons and ligaments
- Swollen finger or toes
- Painful eye
- Pain in the sacroiliac joints
Some people with ankylosing spondylitis experience a loss of spinal flexibility. Therefore, early diagnosis of this disease is very important as with proper management spinal deformity can be minimized and loss of mobility can also be decreased.
Gout is one of the most painful types of arthritis which occurs when too much uric acid gets build up in the body. Uric acid is defined as a waste product which is created when the body breaks down purines. Normally uric acid dissolves in the blood, pass through the kidney and get out of the body in urine. But sometimes it can stay in the blood and build up in the blood and it can happen under certain circumstances such as when the amount of uric acid produced in the body is increased, kidneys are unable to get enough uric acid and there is an intake of food that are high in purines. Some of the symptoms that occur in gout include:
- Stiffness in joints
- Pain in toes
- Swelling and redness of toes
The buildup of uric acid can cause health problems such as the deposit of uric acid crystals in the joints, deposit of uric acid that look like a lump under the skin and development of kidney stones due to uric acid crystals in the kidneys.
3. Juvenile arthritis
Juvenile arthritis is a term which is used when children are affected by arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is of many types and juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common type of juvenile arthritis. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a condition in which the main cause or the origin of this disease is not known. In juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks the body’s tissue and leads to an inflammation in the joints. Some of the symptoms that occur in this type of arthritis include:
- Pain in joints
- Swelling of joints
- Stiffness and redness of joints
- Inability to straighten the joints
- Skin rash
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is categorized into different forms such as oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic arthritis, enthesitis related arthritis. Another type of juvenile arthritis include juvenile psoriatic arthritis and it is defined as a condition which occurs with the skin condition, known as psoriasis. It is characterized by symptoms like:
- Pain and swelling in joints
- Scaling red rash
- Splitting of the fingernails
Osteoarthritis is one of the common forms of arthritis and it mostly affects cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the end of bones in the joints. It is one of the common cause of disability in older adults and it mostly affects the joints in the knees, hands, feet, and spine. Symptoms that occur in this type of arthritis include:
- Persistent pain and tenderness
- Stiffness in the joints
- Swelling around the joints
- Changes in the shape of the joints
- Cracking sound when the bone bends
Most often, osteoarthritis occurs in older people but, it can also occur in adults and people of other age. It includes many risk factors and some of them include, obesity, joint injury, a genetic defect in joint cartilage, and when the joints are not formed properly.
5. Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is defined as a chronic autoimmune disorder which is characterized by an inflammation that affects the joints of an individual. It is an autoimmune disease which means that the immune system of the body fails to function properly. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system of the body attacks the lining of the joints and causes inflammation and ultimately leads to joint damage. Although the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can vary from person to person but some of the common symptoms that occur in rheumatoid arthritis are as follows:
- Joint pain
- Tenderness to touch
- Weight loss
- Low-grade fever
It is a serious disorder because as this disease progresses, it can cause deformity of joints and loss of function. It becomes more painful and adversely interferes in the normal working of an individual. The exact cause of rheumatoid is not clear but it is believed that factors such as genetics, hormones, and bacterias may play a role and contribute to the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis.