Arthritis

The word is from the Greek ‘arthro’ meaning joint and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation. The plural word being arthritides. There are over 100 different forms. Arthritis is a condition that affects the limbs and spine. It is associated with inflammatory or structural changes. The most common form is the degenerative osteoarthritis which is a result of trauma to the joint, infection, or age. Osteoarthritis is when the primary problem is a mechanical failure of articular cartilage. Rheumatoid Arthritis is when the primary problem is chronic inflammation of the synovial lining of the joints, tendon sheaths & bursae. Less common types include psoriatic, Reiter’s, Bechet’s Syndrome, septic and colitis arthritis.  Arthritis can also be related to autoimmune diseases.

The major complaint of people living with arthritis is the acute pain they experience. It is constant and usually localized to the affected area. The pain is caused by swelling. Damage to the joint from disease, repetitive wear & tear and muscle strains all contribute to the discomfort, stiffness and fatigue. Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Over 20 million people have severely limited mobility and many are homebound.

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