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Arthritis

About

Arthritis is characterized by pain, inflammation, and joint stiffness leading to a reduced range of mobility and sometimes deformity - usually due to degradation of connective tissue (mainly cartilage) in joints. particularly affecting:

-   Weight-bearing joints - Eg. hips, knees, spine, ankles, feet

 Joints with frequent movement - hands, fingers, thumbs, arms, neck

Progresses slowly over the years - but can be exacerbated with injury or by repetitive overworking of joints; better to deal with arthtitis early on, since it is difficult to repair cartilage once the damage is done

 

Types of arthritis

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis - degenerative arthritis being the most common, followed closely by inflammatory arthritis.

The most common forms of arthritis are:

✔ Osteoarthritis (OA)

✔ Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

✔ Juvenile RA

✔ Fibromyalgia

✔ Bursitis

✔ Lupus

✔ Gout

Causes of arthritis

Arthitis can be caused by trauma, wear and tear or uncontrolled inflammation

-   In the joint - Eg. OA and RA

-   Systemically affecting the internal organs - E.g. In RA

-   In the surrounding ligaments, tendons or muscles - E.g. fibromyalgia

Ligament: surrounds and supports each joint, connects bone to bone, and prevents excessive movement.

Tendon: attaches muscle to bone on each side of joint

 

Some Differences between RA and OA
RA OA
Tends to affect middle joints of fingers and where fingers attach to hand In the hand, OA most commonly affects the 1st and 2nd joints of the thumb (study published Apr.2011 in "Rheumatology), also joints at the ends of the fingers
Usually same joints are affected symmetrically on both sides of the body Symmetry of affected joints on both sides of the body does NOT usually occur in OA
Joints often hurt for longer than 45 minutes after getting out of bed Joints may be stiff in the morning, but typically feel better in about 20 minutes
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