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Different Types of Arthritis
There are over 100 types of arthritis, rheumatic diseases and related conditions. Some common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis.
Osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common type of arthritis which affects people past middle age. It usually begins as a result of the ageing process that is, the wear and tear of the joints during the later part of one’s life. It is characterized by degenerating process in the joints, for instance, softening and erosion of the cartilages and enlargement of the body are vulnerable to osteoarthritis, it is generally weight bearing joints such as knee joints and elbow joints that are commonly affected. In old person hip joints and shoulder joints are often affected by this disease. The joints become stiff and painful. Such conditions are referred to as frozen hip and frozen shoulder.
The next most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It is a serious form of rheumatoid affliction which can cause severe destruction of the joint tissue resulting in extensive deformities in which the patient becomes absolutely crippled. It usually strikes at a fairly young age though it can affect persons of any age. Women are generally afflicted with this form of arthritis. This type of arthritis begins with an inflammation of the synovial membrane which eventually leads to deposits in the joints, bone degeneration, deformity and subsequent invalidity unless proper treatment is taken at the appropriate time.
Gout usually manifests itself by an inflammation of the joints of the large toe. This is a local symptom of a general metabolic disorder which is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the tissues. Gout generally affects persons after middle age, but it may often occur in men and women even at a very early age. In osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, generally large weight bearing joints are afflicted, but in gout the smaller joints of the toes and fingers are commonly afflicted.
Bursitis means the inflammation of a bursa or several bursas. A bursa is a small flat sack, namely, a pouch containing synovial fluid a slimy lubricant required to reduce friction and absorb shocks that joints and tendons are subjected to. The bursas most commonly affected are those of the elbow, shoulder joint and knee joint.
The most frequent cause of bursitis is an injury such as a knock or unusual pressure on the knee-cap or excessive amount of exercise which can irritate the joint.
Lumbago is a rheumatic condition affecting the muscles of the lower part of the back, also called the lumbar region. Unless cured by proper therapies, attacks of lumbago get more frequent and more painful like all rheumatic complaints, especially as the patient becomes older. Lumbago generally occurs in patients whose profession is largely sedentary requiring them to sit constantly for long periods of time and also in those who are habitually constipated.
Muscular rheumatism is often caused by a draught or chill which constricts the blood vessels in the affected region. Because of this construction, the toxic matter in that region does not get eliminated and inflammation sets in. This generally affects muscles of the shoulder, neck back, arms or legs. The common cause of this ailment which is also called fibrositis, is injury to the affected part – a muscle tendon or ligament.
Rheumatic fever usually begins with a sore throat or tonsillitis. During fever, cough, chill, pleurisy and abdominal pain will be experienced. Swelling and pain in joints of a severe nature generally follow and continue even after the fever is over. This may lead to heart disease and other disturbances in the bodily functions.
Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve which runs down from the hip joint. This is a particularly crippling complaint and agonizing in its painfulness. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs right down to the ankle joint. Sciatica can be caused by draught, dampness or chill. It can also be caused by a displaced spinal disc or vertebra.
Spondylitis is a chronic and progressive form of arthritis which affects one or more of the vertebrae. The degenerative changes in the vertebra are similar to those in rheumatoid arthritis. It is most commonly found in males who keep bending their necks or backs constantly during their work. The onset is usually gradual beginning with mild back pains which become increasingly severe as the inflammation progresses.
Tendinitis involves the inflammation of a tendon. A tendon is a rope-like body part that adheres muscles to bones. The pain from tendinitis is not directly in the joint itself, but close to the joint. Common areas prone to tendinitis are the knees, elbows and shoulders. Jumper's knee, tennis elbow and swimmer's shoulder are some of the common terms used for tendinitis.
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