Arthritis is defined as inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different types of Arthritis.
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when you walk. Without the normal amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects joint symmetrically (on both sides equally), may initially begin in a couple of joints, and most frequently attacks the wrists, hands, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles.
Causes of Joint Inflammation
- An Autoimmune Disease (the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue)
- Broken Bone
- General "wear and tear" on joints
- Infection, usually by bacteria or virus
Usually the joint inflammation goes away after the cause goes away or is treated. Sometimes it does not. When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Arthritis may occur in men or women.
Symptoms of Arthritis
- Joint Pain
- Joint Swelling
- Reduced joint mobility
Did you know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States?
Treatments for Arthritis
- Physical Therapy
- Heat or Ice
- Splint or Orthotic