Exploring The Basics Of Arthritis

Exploring The Basics Of Arthritis

Medical Issues Parenting Help   Think back to the last time you heard someone say, “my arthritis is acting up.” In truth, there are over 100 varieties, including gout and osteoarthritis. At its most fundamental level, it’s caused when the joints suffer injury. The surrounding tissue becomes inflamed and given enough time, can become damaged. Below, I’ll explain how your joints work so you’ll gain an appreciation for how arthritis can affect them. I’ll also describe the most common types as well as factors that can lead to their onset.

How Joints Work

Every joint is basically a connection between at least two bones (for example, your knee). The joining ends of the connecting bones are covered in a cushioning material called cartilage. Without cartilage, moving your joints would be excruciating. Normally, the bones won’t touch each other. Instead, there’s a tissue that separates them called the synovium. Finally, ligaments connect the bones and are supported by muscles and various tendons. When arthritis sets in, the joint endures inflammation. Even though the inflammation only affects a portion of the joint (in most cases), moving it can be extremely painful.

Common Types Of Arthritis

As noted above, there are over 100 varieties, though most people cope with one of three different kinds. The most common is osteoarthritis. It happens when the cartilage that covers the joining bones starts to deteriorate. Without that cushion, the bones start rubbing against one another. Eventually, the affected area in the joint starts to swell due to the friction.

Another common form is rheumatoid arthritis. It usually affects the wrists and knees. The distinguishing trait with this variety is that it’s caused by your immune system. While the job of your immune system is to fight diseases, it inexplicably assaults itself. When this happens, the lining inside your joints can begin to swell, causing the joints to become inflamed. If the inflammation persists, it can eventually damage the cartilage.

A lot of people also suffer from gout. Your body naturally produces and eliminates uric acid. However, when the body cannot properly dispose of it, the uric acid continues to build. Over time, the excess material forms crystals inside the joints and can cause severe tenderness and pain. The areas that are mostly susceptible to gout are the knees, big toes, and the joints of your wrists.

Treatment To Reduce Discomfort

Depending upon the variety that you’re coping with and its severity, your doctor may suggest an assortment of treatment alternatives. For some people, regular exercise to promote mobility is the most appropriate option. For others, undergoing surgery to replace worn cartilage might be necessary. Medications may also be prescribed to reduce the pain.

Arthritis can be debilitating. In severe cases, it may be difficult to move without experiencing substantial discomfort. If your joints feel inflamed, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to suggest the most appropriate form of treatment given your circumstances.

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Author: ParentingMaven

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