Arthritis – What is it?

Arthritis is no modern day problem though it is on the increase because of our stress prone present day lifestyle. The fossil remains of humans as well as dinosaurs have proved that even ancient man had been afflicted with Arthritis.

Greek words ‘arthro’ meaning joints and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation, merged to form the word Arthritis which means inflammation of the joints of the body. The inflammation of the joints is due to many reasons. The underlying cause forms the basis for classification of the types of Arthritis.

The manifestation of Arthritis is by way of pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints. The pain or stiffness is specific to a location or locations in the body, specific to certain movements in the body, chronic or recurrent, or occurs subject to the existence or occurrence of certain extraneous conditions.

After some examination, the doctor is able to diagnose and confirm the existence of the problem. X-ray reading and radiographs of the afflicted part of the body, and blood tests are done, and this is used to establish the extent of affliction and the rate of progression.

Osteoarthritis is a type of Arthritis where the muscle forming a cushion between two bones at their joint has worn off and there is absence or loss of fluids which lubricate the joints. These joints ache when the two bones concerned press against one another. And when the afflicted person does not use the joint, fearing pain, the muscles around the joint gradually lose elasticity and stiffen. The hip and knee joints are most susceptible to this type of Arthritis.

In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the immune system of the afflicted person itself attacks the joints. The pain and inflammation are not continual but wax and wane. The joint may also get deformed. Other parts of the body too get affected. The subject will be afflicted with anaemia for example.

Gout Arthritis is characterized by gout condition in the body of the subject which causes uric acid deposits around the joints, causing pain. The pain is sudden and excruciating, sometimes accompanied with burning sensation and redness of the skin over the joint. The big toe, ankles, heels, knees, fingers, elbows and spine are more susceptible to this type of Arthritis.

Septic Arthritis is characterised by an infection around the joint which affects the muscles and fluids around the joints.

The above are the most commonly occurring primary types of Arthritis. There are hundreds of secondary ones.

Now you know which one the doctor’s diagnostic slip refers to. Why me, would have been your reaction on receiving the slip. You need to read further on the causes which have lead to the condition.