Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects millions of people globally. Every joint has cartilage that surrounds the bones and allows the joint to move smoothly. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage surrounding the joints starts to break down. This causes pain in the joint, especially during the movement of the joint. Osteoarthritis can also cause changes in the bones and deterioration of the connective tissue that attaches the muscle to the bone. Osteoarthritis is most common in the hands, knees, hips, and sometimes the spine.
The damage caused by Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but it can be managed. Many treatments are available for pain management. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the symptoms (eating healthy, exercising, and staying active).
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. In some cases, the condition can damage other areas of the body in addition to the joints. It can damage the skin, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels. Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause painful swelling of the joints and even cause deformity of the bones and joints.
The most common symptoms are:
Age – The risk of arthritis increases with age. On average, 49% of people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis.
Family medical history – family medical history has a significant influence on the risk of certain diseases, including arthritis. If your parents or siblings have arthritis, then you have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
Gender – Prevalence rates of arthritis are higher in women than men. One in four women has arthritis (at a later age), compared to one in five men. Women are more prone to developing arthritis for the following reasons:
Obesity – being obese puts pressure on the joints, increasing the chances of developing arthritis. It primarily affects the joints in the knees.
The treatment of arthritis is focused on pain management and improving the function of the joint. Many people require a combination of treatments to manage arthritis.
The good news is that new treatments for arthritis are being discovered every day, and arthritis is becoming more manageable.
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