Arthritis means inflammation of the joint. The word is derived from greek words : athron, which means joints; and itis meaning inflammation. It is a chronic disease process.
There are over a hundred forms of arthritis. It can be classified into three main categories which may be, rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Gout.
Rheumatoid arthritis normally affects, knees, toes , small finger joints, wrists . All parts of the body can be a target.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint , but commonly occurs on knees, spine , hips and feet.
Gout usually occur in lower limbs and first target the big toes.
Arthritis can affect both men and women of all age groups. However, women are three times more vulnerable than men. About 80% of rheumatoid arthritis patients are within age group of 35 to 50. About 65% of osteoarthritis patients are over the age of 65.
Symptoms common to all forms of arthritis are:
- Stiffness and pain
The pain increases after exercise.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also called ‘cooked food disease’. it normally develops gradually over several months and there is a persistent pain and stiffness in one or more joints. Ultimately, the whole body is affected.
Symptoms are: Anaemia , constipation, colitis and defamed hands and feet.
Causes of arthritis are:
Arthritis is a result of damage to joint parts. The causes of arthritis may vary , but the most common causes are: hereditary , age, infections, deficiency of organic sodium and minerals, mental or physical strain, obesity, cold weather, excessive use of rich foods.
Different arthritis is caused due to damage to different parts of the joint.
Gout is caused by abnormal production of uric acid. When the body produces excess uric acid , it get deposited in the form of needle like crystals in the joints instead being excreted through the urine. These crystals cause friction and severe pain in the joints when moved.
Rheumatoid arthritis sets off when the synovial membrane ( this helps the smooth movement of the joints) becomes inflamed and stiff. Construction workers, dancers, ballerinas and weight lifters are often its victims due to high strain on the joints in these professions.
Osteoarthritis involves damage and wear and tear to the cartilage . normally age and genetic are factors in break down of the cartilage. Almost every one over the age of sixty suffer from this form of arthritis to some extent.