Arthritis is a degenerative condition that tends to cause symptoms of pain, swelling, and tenderness. There are more than 100 conditions that fall under the category of arthritis, and all of them affect the joints and the surrounding tissues. Some types begin in the joints and spread to other organs.
The word arthritis comes from the Greek word arthron, meaning “joint,” and the suffix -itis, meaning “inflammation.” Joints become inflamed, and the protective cartilage between the bones wears away – creating an uncomfortable scraping of bone against bone.
More than 54 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although we tend to think of arthritis as an age-related issue, approximately 60% of adults with arthritis are under the age of 65.
Most Frequently Diagnosed Types of Arthritis
Although there are many different types of arthritis, most of them are rare. Most people with arthritis have one of just several main types, which include the following:
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and it is usually called just “arthritis.” This is the wear-and-tear type of arthritis that happens as we get older, but it can also happen to athletes who put constant pressure on certain joints.
This type of arthritis can affect any joint in the body, as the cartilage is worn down and ceases to provide the protective cushioning between bones in a joint. Osteoarthritis often occurs in weight-bearing joints, such as in the hips, knees, and back, but it’s also very common in the hands, feet, and neck.
The cartilage, which naturally absorbs shock, loses its ability to reduce friction in the joints as it becomes worn down. The loss of this cartilage also causes pain in the adjacent ligaments and tendons, because they will stretch beyond their design to accommodate the deficit.
Psoriatic arthritis can happen to patients who have psoriasis, a skin disorder in which skin cells multiply much faster than normal. Red patches build up on the skin, and the patches are covered with white scales. They tend to appear on the scalp, knees, lower back, and elbows.
This disease spreads into the body and causes psoriatic arthritis. However, some people have the arthritis first and then develop the skin patches.
Symptoms vary, but they can affect any joint in the body. The severity of psoriatic arthritis can be mild, with only occasional flare-ups; some patients experience a more severe form of the condition, with continuous flare-ups and continuing joint damage.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that usually begins in the joints and can spread to major organs in the body. It can create problems with the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis include a low-grade fever, inflammation, weight loss, and fatigue. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but the symptoms can be minimized though treatment such as moderate exercise.
Arthritis Doctors in North Dakota
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your joints, see a skilled orthopedist for an evaluation and specific treatment that works. Here at The Bone & Joint Center, we will diagnose your condition and will devise a treatment plan just for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you and helping you get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.