Arthritis is a widespread condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation and stiffness in the joints, leading to pain and reduced mobility.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis encompasses various types, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some common forms:
- Osteoarthritis (OA): The most prevalent type, OA occurs due to wear and tear of the joint cartilage over time. It commonly affects weight-bearing joints like knees, hips, and spine.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, leading to inflammation. It typically affects smaller joints in the hands and feet.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis often accompanies the skin condition psoriasis. It causes joint inflammation and can affect any joint in the body.
- Gout: Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, leading to sudden and severe pain. It commonly affects the big toe.
Causes of Arthritis
Understanding the causes can shed light on the development and progression of arthritis. While the exact causes may vary depending on the type, here are some common factors:
- Age: As we age, the risk of developing arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, increases due to the natural degeneration of joint tissues.
- Genetics: Certain genetic factors can contribute to the development of specific types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
- Joint Injury: Previous joint injuries, such as fractures or ligament tears, can increase the likelihood of developing arthritis later in life.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune diseases, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis
Recognizing the symptoms is crucial for early detection and management of arthritis. While the specific symptoms may vary depending on the type of arthritis, here are some general signs to watch for:
- Joint Pain: Persistent joint pain, which may worsen with movement or over time, is a common symptom of arthritis.
- Stiffness: Joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity, is a hallmark symptom.
- Swelling and Redness: Inflamed joints often appear swollen, tender, and red.
- Reduced Range of Motion: Arthritis can restrict the movement of affected joints, leading to a decreased range of motion.
- Fatigue: Many people with arthritis experience fatigue, which can be attributed to the inflammation and chronic pain associated with the condition.
Arthritis is a complex and multifaceted condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Understanding the types, causes, and symptoms of arthritis is vital for early detection, proper management, and improved well-being.
If you suspect you may have arthritis or are experiencing persistent joint symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
At Envista Medical, our doctor offers a number of treatments that can help relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis you or a loved one is suffering from, our team may suggest one or a combination of regenerative medicine treatments, chiropractic care, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy, and/or Spinal Decompression.
If you would like more information on our approach to relieving arthritis symptoms, call us today at (661) 669-8158 to schedule your appointment!