Arthritis comprises over 100 different diseases and conditions. The word arthritis means, ‘joint inflammation. ‘ When joints are inflamed, it causes pain and usually limits movement of the joints that are affected. Arthritis pain has a significant impact on their lives, for many people.
Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a source of work disability. It limits everyday events such as walking, dressing, and bathing for longer than 32 million people all parts of the world. Each year, the condition results in 1.5 million hospitalizations and 72 million outpatient visits.
Arthritis isn’t just an old person’s disease. Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65 years including nearly 600, 000 children. This disease affects children and people of all racial and ethnic groups, but is more common in women and older adults.
Arthritis in finger joints help
Arthritis can affect various parts of the body. Two of the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the more common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the confines of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. OA commonly affects the joints of the fingers, hips, spine, and knees. It is more common in older people as they have been using their joints longer. Using the joints to do the same task over and over or simply using them over time can make osteoarthritis worse.
Younger people can also get osteoarthritis. Athletes are at risk because they use their joints so much. People who’ve jobs that require the same movement repeatedly are likewise at risk. Injuries to a joint increase the risk of arthritis in the joint later on. Excess weight can accelerate arthritis in the knees, spine, and hips.
The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse late in the day. There can be swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints. Symptoms of OA may greatly vary. Some patients can be debilitated by their symptoms. Others may have remarkably few symptoms in spite of dramatic degeneration of the joints apparent on x-rays, on the other hand. Still, symptoms also can be intermittent.
Primary OA is mostly related to aging. The water substance of the cartilage increases and the protein makeup of cartilage degenerates with aging. Repetitive use of the joints over the years irritates and inflames the cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate by flaking or forming tiny crevasses. Inflammation of the cartilage can also stimulate new bone outgrowths to form around the joints.
Collagen is the essential protein in cartilage; it forms a mesh to give support and flexibility to the joint. The synovium is a membrane that surrounds the whole joint; it is filled with synovial fluid, a lubricating liquid that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage. The cartilage is slippery tissue that coats the edges of the bones.
Sometimes osteoarthritis follows an injury to a joint. A young person might hurt his knee badly playing soccer, for example. Then, years after the knee has apparently healed, he might get arthritis in his knee joint.
RA is an autoimmune disease. This means the body’s natural immune system doesn’t operate, as it should. It attacks healthy joint tissue, initiating a process of inflammation and joint damage. RA is a form of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on the sides of the body, such as hands, knees, or wrists. This symmetry helps distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis.
An injury to the hand or wrist, such as a fracture or dislocation, can make the joints more susceptible to arthritis, particularly if the surface or the joint has been damaged.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs most often in the 30 to 50 age group, although it can start at any age.
Some people may worry that arthritis means they’ll not be in a position to work or look after their children and their family. Others think that you only have to accept things like arthritis.
The pain and disability that accompany arthritis can be decreased through early diagnosis and appropriate management. Therefore, if you have persistent symptoms lasting more than several days, go see your doctor. The doctor will examine you and may take X rays of your bones or joints to decide if you’ve got arthritis and what type you have.
After the doctor knows what type of arthritis you have, he or she’ll talk with you about how best to treat it. The doctor may get you a prescription for medicine that will assist with the pain, inflammation, and stiffness.