Understanding the Common Forms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a relatively common condition that is associated with the inflammation of joints. The pain experienced as a result of the disease can be debilitating and completely life-changing. Most people believe that arthritis is a condition affecting only the elderly. However, there are forms of the disease that affect younger individuals and sometimes even children. In fact, there are dozens identified types of arthritis that affect people around the world. Some of them are very rare, but at least the 3 forms of arthritis occur more often than the others. Here is a brief description of these most common forms.
Osteoarthritis affects millions of people. More often, it develops in individuals who are in their late forties or older. The condition develops when the protective cartilage around the joints starts to break down. This cartilage is intended to form a protective cushion between the bones. Therefore, when it is reduced, the tendons and ligaments will experience stress and movement around that area will become painful. Moreover, the joint often becomes inflamed and the pain will increase when cartilage-deprived bones starts rubbing against each other. The most affected joints include hands, knees and hip joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis may start developing in middle aged people between the age of forty and fifty years. In general, this condition affects females more than males. This form of arthritis develops when the body’s natural immune system attacks the joints. In simple terms, the system becomes overactive and aggressive, and ends up degrading the healthy lining of the joints. Consequently, there will be inflammation and excruciating pain, and the damage can be permanent. Other types of autoimmune-related arthritis include psoriatic arthritis and lupus, which affects most parts of the body.
The common condition known as gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. However, unlike the autoimmune diseases, it is highly localized and does not cause the inflammation of the entire body. In most cases, it will affect the joint in the big toe, but the condition can spread to other joints of the foot and sometimes the hand. Basically, gout is a disease which forms due to the production of too much uric acid in the body. Habitually, the condition will affect bodies with a decreased capacity to excrete uric acid. The acid accumulates in the blood, and the excess of it will form crystals in the joints. Inflammation and excruciating pain will occur, particularly during the night and morning hours.