Nov 24, 2016

What is Arthritis?

what is arthritis

Most people don’t have the right information on what is arthritis. For proper cure it is important to understand what is Arthritis? To be exact, it is not a single disease but an informal way used to describe around 200 rheumatic disease conditions in which the joints, tissues surrounding the joints and other connective tissues are adversely affected resulting in pain and stiffness.

Types of Arthritis

There are more than 200 types of Arthritis conditions and are further categorized into several groups. Understanding the categories will further help in knowing more about what is arthritis and its groupings. These groups are as follows:

  • Inflammatory arthritis – Though inflammation is a normal process in body healing but sometimes it becomes a problem when it occurs for no particular reason and harms the body tissues itself hence leading to inflammatory arthritis.

Under this type of arthritis along with the joints, tendons and ligaments are also affected.

  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis – Under this kind of arthritis the major affect is on the cartilage covering the ends of the bone. Cartilage helps the joints to glide and move smoothly and in this condition the cartilage becomes thinner and rougher hence to make up for the loss of ligament and changes in joint capacity, the body starts to redesign the bone trying to reestablish stability. This can bring about undesirable bony developments creating osteophytes, or cause the joint to end up deformed. This condition is regularly called osteoarthritis.
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal arthritis – Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain is felt in tissues other than the joints and bones. The pain frequently influences a part of the body leading to damage, for instance, tennis elbow, and starts from the muscles or delicate tissues supporting the joints.

Sometimes if the pain is more and associated with different manifestations, it could be a case of fibromyalgia.

  • Infectious arthritis – This type of arthritis occurs when a bacterium, virus or fungus enters the joint causing infection and leads to inflammation. Organisms that can infect joints are salmonella, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, hepatitis C etc. If treated on time with apt antibiotics the joint infection of this genre can generally be cured, if not arthritis becomes chronic.
  • Metabolic arthritis – People are unknown of the fact, what is arthritis’s relation with elevated uric acid? Uric acid is a compound made when the body break down a substance called purine. It is found in human cells and a few foods.

Most uric acid breaks up in blood and goes to the kidneys. From that point, it goes out in urine. A few people deliver more amount of uric acid than required or their body can’t clear the uric acid rapidly enough.

It develops and collects and forms needle-like stones in the joint, bringing about sudden spikes of outrageous joint pain or a gout assault.

Gout can either go back and forth in scenes or get to be endless if uric corrosive levels are not diminished. It mainly influences a single joint or a small number of joints.

Symptoms of Arthritis

After understanding what is arthritis, let us know the most common symptoms associated with it. Some of the significant symptoms includes:

  • Pain – Constant pain in and around joints is the first principal sign of arthritis. The pain might be isolated to one place or felt in many parts of the body.
  • Joint Swelling – If swelling along with constant pain is observed in the joints then it is a high time for an individual to consult a doctor for Arthritis’s possibilities.
  • Joint Stiffness – Stiffness is a typical arthritis symptom, with a few types of Arthritis causing increased stiffness after getting up in the morning, or sitting for a long time at a place.
  • Difficulty in moving a joint – Regular joint movements becomes difficult and limited. It includes difficulty in getting up from a chair, climbing staircase etc.

What causes arthritis?

It is important to know what is arthritis and how does it start. There isn’t a single reason which could directly lead to arthritis. Potential causes of arthritis includes:

  • Injury – leading to degenerative arthritis
  • Abnormal metabolism – causing gout and pseudogout
  • Immune system dysfunction – such as found in RA and SLE.
  • Infections – such as in the arthritis of Lyme disease
  • Inheritance – as in the case of osteoarthritis

Most sorts of joint pain are created by a blend of many factors, although some joint pain conditions have no particular cause and are unpredictable in their rise.


After understanding what is arthritis let’s know about its prevalence.

Arthritis has a significantly higher age-predominance in ladies (23.9%) than men (18.6%). It increases with age and is higher among women than men in each age group. As per the CDC, 60% of individuals with joint inflammation are ladies, and most types of joint inflammation are found more in ladies, except for gout, which is more regular in men.

Risk factors for arthritis

Along with understanding what is arthritis, it also important to know the risk factors related to it. Some of these factors fall under modifiable type while others are not.

Non-modifiable risk factors:

Age: The danger of growing most sorts of joint inflammation increments with age

Sex: Most sorts of joint pain are more regular in females; surprisingly 60%. Gout is found more in guys.

Hereditary: Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Modifiable risk factors:

Overweight and stoutness: Being overweight can add to both the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Joint wounds: Harm to a joint can add to the advancement of osteoarthritis in that joint

Infection: Numerous microbial agents can taint joints and trigger the occurrence of different types of arthritis.

Nature of Occupation: Certain occupations that include repetitive knee bowing and hunching down are connected with osteoarthritis of the knee.

What is Arthritis Diagnosis?

Most instances of arthritis are determined with a therapeutic history of present and past symptoms, physical examination and specific radiographic and laboratory studies. It is possible to have more than one type of joint pain at the same time, and just a few of rheumatic sicknesses have a conclusive finding, for example, gout.

Rheumatologists commonly manage continuous treatment for inflammatory arthritis, gout and other convoluted cases. Orthopedic specialists do joint surgery, including joint substitutions. At the point when the joint inflammation influences other body systems or parts, different pros, for example, ophthalmologists, dermatologists or dental practitioners, may also be incorporated into the health care team.

Specialists commonly use imaging scans, for example, X-beam, MRI, and CT outputs to deliver a picture of your bones and ligament. This is done so that they can rule out other causes of your symptoms, such as bone spurs.


In order to heal arthritis, just knowing what is arthritis and its type won’t help. There are many treatments but what is arthritis’s most impactful treatment depends on the type.

 The main objective of arthritis treatment is to reduce the amount of pain one is experiences and preventing additional harm to the joints. Improving the joint function is also important. The doctor may also prescribe a combination of treatment methods so as to achieve the best possible results. Some of the treatments for Arthritis are as follows:

  • Medication – Non-provocative sorts of joint inflammation, such as osteoarthritis are treated regularly with pain medications, physical activity, weight loss if the person is overweight and self-management education.

Some of the common medications for arthritis treatment are analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, counterirritants, biologics, etc.

  • Surgery – Surgery to supplant one’s joint with an artificial one might be a choice. This type of surgery is most usually performed to supplant hips and knees.

In the event of the joint inflammation getting severe in the fingers or wrists, the specialist may perform a joint fusion. In this strategy, the closures of your bones are bolted together until they mend and get to be one.

  • Physical therapies – Physical therapies for arthritis is done in order to reduce limitations on mobility. It includes treatments such as warm water therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

Living with arthritis is difficult. Carrying out basic, everyday tasks can become painful and troublesome. In any case, there are numerous ways one can do to alleviate its manifestations as:

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. An excessive amount of weight can make the knees and hips hurt.
  • Workout. Moving the majority of one’s joints will help. The specialist or medical caretaker can demonstrate the proper methodologies to move the joints more effortlessly. Going for a walk each day will help, as well.
  • Taking prescriptions as asked. These help in reducing pain and stiffness.
  • Taking a warm shower in the morning. It helps in an increased blood circulation in the body
  • Getting regular check-ups with the doctor
  • Being well informed about the disease, its symptoms and cure.
  • Protecting joints from unnecessary stress. Not sitting in the same position for a longer period and taking breaks in such situations.
  • Following self-management strategies such as balancing activity with rest, eating healthy balanced diets, proper sleep, etc.

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