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Diseases and Cure

What is Arthritis?- Definition, Types, Causes, Symptoms, and More

Arthritis Definition

Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which often get worse with age.

The common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage, the hard, slippery tissue that lines the bones’ ends where it forms a joint, to break down.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, starting with the joints’ lining.

Uric acid crystals, which form too much uric acid in the blood, can cause gout. Background infections or illnesses, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types.

What are the Types of Arthritis?


Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main aim of treatments is to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

  • Thumb arthritis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Psoriasis arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondyloarthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis

What are the Causes of Arthritis?


The two main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid cause extra damage to the joints.

1. Osteoarthritis

  • The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, involves wear and tear damage to the joint cartilage (the hard, slippery layer at the bones’ ends where the joints form).
  • Cartilage cushions the bones’ ends and allows for almost frictionless joint movement, but enough damage can cause the bone to grind directly onto the bone, causing pain and restriction of movement.
  • This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can accelerate due to a joint injury or infection.
  • Osteoarthritis also affects the entire joint. It causes substitutes in the bones and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold the joint together. It also causes inflammation of the lining of the joint.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the joint capsule’s lining, which is a tough membrane that encloses all parts of the joints.
  • This lining (synovium) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint.

Symptoms of Arthritis


Some of the most common signs and symptoms affect the joints. Depending on the type you have, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Rigidity
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

What are the Diagnoses of Arthritis?


After your doctor checks a physical examination of the joints, they may order screening tests.

An MRI can disclose the state of soft tissues in a joint, such as cartilage. Level X-rays can also show cartilage breakdown, bone damage, or erosions.

Your doctor may order a blood test to determine the joint problem is due to RA. It is to look for the presence of “rheumatoid factor” or cyclic citrullinated antibodies in people with RA.

Risk Factors of Arthritis

Risk factors for arthritis include the following:

Family Background: Some types of arthritis run in families, so you are likely to get it if your parents or siblings have the disorder. Your genes can make you more vulnerable to environmental factors that can trigger.

Age: The chance of many types, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, and gout, increases with age.

Sex Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid, while most people with gout, another type, are men.

Previous Joint Injury: People who have injured a joint, perhaps while playing sports, are more likely to develop arthritis in that joint over time.

Obesity: The extra weight stresses the joints, especially the knees, hips, and spine. Obesity people have a higher risk of developing.

Complications of Arthritis

Severe, significantly, if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to perform daily tasks.

It weight-bearing joints can prevent you from walking comfortably or sitting upright. In some cases, the joints can twist and deform.

What are the Treatments of Arthritis?

It is treated differently depending on the type:

1. Osteoarthritis

  • Your doctor recommends nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen for minor flare-ups or mild cases.
  • And also, corticosteroids can take orally or by injection, can reduce inflammation in the joints.
  • Physical therapy helps improve muscle strength and range of motion. More robust muscles better support a joint, possibly easing pain during movement.
  • Joint damage is severe; your doctor might recommend surgery to repair or replace the joint. It typically does only after other treatments fail to give you enough pain relief and mobility.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

NSAIDs and corticosteroids might help reduce pain and swelling for people with RA, but there are also specific drugs designed to treat this type.

And also, some of these include:

Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): DMARDs block your body’s immune system response, which helps slow down RA’s progression.

Biologics: These drugs respond to the immune system that causes inflammation instead of blocking the whole immune system.

Janus kinase (JAK) Inhibitors: This is a new type of DMARD that blocks specific immune system responses to prevent inflammation and joint damage.

New drugs continue to test to help treat RA and reduce symptom intensity. And like OA, RA symptoms can sometimes relieve through physical therapy.

When to See a Doctor

Even though there’s no cure for OA or RA, both conditions are treatable. And also, as with most health challenges, they are getting an early diagnosis, and a head start on treatment often results in the best outcomes.

Don’t just chalk joint stiffness up to another unavoidable sign of aging. If there’s swelling, pain, or stiffness, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor, especially if these symptoms interfere with your daily activities.

Aggressive treatment and a better understanding of your specific condition may help keep you more active and more comfortable in the years ahead.


It is a harrowing and lifestyle-changing disease, and you should avoid it as much as possible, can make your life harder, and it is costly to treat.

It can present with Extra-articular Manifestation ACR(American college of rheumatology) has unique criteria for diagnosing RA.

Also Read: What is Coffee? – Benefits, Uses, Advantages, Disadvantages, and More

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