What Is Arthritis
Arthritis is essentially the damage of the joints throughout the body. But to understand arthritis and the arthritis symptoms that define the disease, you must understand the different forms because each form has different causes. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.
It affects over 20 million people in the U.S. alone. Osteoarthritis is considered a degenerative joint disease because of the deterioration of the cartilage. This cartilage loss is key because the cartilage, being a natural cushion for the joints, is now gone which leaves no protection or barrier between the bones of the joints.
Now you have the joints interacting “bone to bone”. This can cause extreme pain and very limited mobility. Osteoarthritis is mostly related to aging. It occurs more frequently in females after the age of 55. With aging, the structure of the cartilage degenerates and the fluid contents increases.
Obesity is another cause of osteoarthritis. It causes increasing stress on the cartilage.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition where there is great inflammation of the joints. The inflammation can also spread through the various tissues of the body such as the tendons, ligaments, muscles. The inflammation cause swelling, and stiffness in the joints. It can also affect other organs of the body.
Ironically, this form of arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. It is labeled so because of the immune system, which is suppose to protect the body from disease, mistakenly attacks the tissue of the individual. People with autoimmune disease, possess antibodies in their system which target their own tissues.