Arthritis means “inflammation of joints.” Yet when older people are afflicted with arthritis, they tend to be bothered less by the inflammation and more by the pain and stiffness that accompany arthritis.
Many people assume arthritis to be an unavoidable part of growing old. Although aging itself does not cause arthritis, arthritis does become more common as people age, for various reasons. The development of arthritis brings many older people much distress. Anyone can get Arthritis. It is just one of over one hundred and seventy types of rheumatic diseases which include many types of arthritis, gout, carpal tunnel syndrome, lupus, bursitis, juvenile arthritis, Kawasaki Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and many more. These diseases are known to affect one of any joints found in the human body.
Types of Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can develop relatively quickly: in weeks as opposed to the years it takes for osteoarthritis. It is an irreversible autoimmune disease, a condition where the body’s own immune system attacks specific cells in the joints. It often starts in younger people and ultimately results in the breakdown of bone.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Cartilage between the bones gradually wastes away and this can lead to painful rubbing of bone on bone in the joints. It may also cause joints to fall out of their natural positions (misalignment). The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hips. Osteoarthritis mostly affects people aged between 40 and 60; it grows more common with age. Around 12% of people over 65 are affected.
Pseudogout is a form of arthritis that occurs when a particular type of calcium crystal accumulates in the joints. As more of these crystals are deposited in the affected joint, they can cause a reaction that leads to severe pain and swelling. The swelling can be either short-term or long-term and occurs most frequently in the knee, although it can also affect the wrist, shoulder, ankle, elbow, or hand. The pain caused by pseudogout is sometimes so excruciating that it can incapacitate someone for days.
Psoriatic arthritis is a complication of psoriasis, a chronic skin disease that is characterized by bright pink or salmon-colored scales covering the knees, elbows, chest, back, or scalp. While most people with psoriasis do not develop arthritis, around 15% do. About 75% of people develop psoriatic arthritis only after the skin condition appears, although in some people the arthritis occurs before the skin condition.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can range in severity, varying a great deal from person to person.
People with rheumatoid arthritis may have a mild course, occasional flare-ups with long periods of remission without disease, or a steadily progressive disease, which may be slow or rapid. Rheumatoid arthritis may start suddenly, with many joints becoming inflamed at the same time. More often, it starts subtly, gradually affecting different joints. Usually, the inflammation is symmetric, with joints on both sides of the body affected.
Symptoms can include:
1.loss of appetite and generally feeling unwell (early symptoms),
2.Aching/ throbbing pain in the affected joints, which may come and go. This is often worse after a nights sleep and after sitting for a while. Exercise usually helps to reduce the pain,
3.The affected joints often feel stiff. Again this often improves once you start moving around; early morning stiffness is a characteristic of joint inflammation.