Arthritis Treatment Questions and Answers
Talk to our team of leading healthcare professionals today at Express Healthcare, LLC, Urgent Care Clinic about treatment for arthritis. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations in College Park MD, New Carrollton MD, Falls Church VA, and Berwyn Height, MD to serve you.
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Arthritis is a common condition in people as they get older. It creates swelling and tenderness in the joints of the body which causes pain and stiffness in the affected joints. Each individual case will have different symptoms depending on what form of arthritis they have and where the arthritis is affecting their body. Symptoms of arthritis can include pain, stiffness, swelling, decreased range of motion and redness in the affected joints. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. These two different forms of arthritis affect the joints and cause damage in different ways. People may be at a higher risk of developing arthritis based on their family history, age, gender, previous joint injury and obesity. All of these can play a role in your likelihood of developing arthritis at some point in your life.
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis affecting individuals as they age. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by damage and wear and tear to the cartilage in the joint. Cartilage is a hard, slick coating found on the ends of the bones where they meet to form the joint to provide a cushion at the end of the bones where they meet and allow for almost frictionless motion in the joint. Over time, the cartilage can break down, which can result in the bones grinding together without the cartilage as a buffer, causing pain and restricted movement in the joint. While this can happen over the span of many years due to natural wear and tear, it can also be the result of an infection or injury to the area. With osteoarthritis, the entire joint is affected, with the bone changing as a result and the connective tissues deteriorating. With rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joint capsule is attacked by the body’s immune system, causing it to become swollen and inflamed. The joint capsule is a tough membrane in the joint that encompasses all of the parts of the joint. The cartilage and bone in the joint can eventually be destroyed as a result of this disease.
The cause of arthritis will be dependent on the form of arthritis an individual has, as the causes can different based on the way damage is inflicted to the joints. Arthritis is generally caused by a breakdown of the cartilage that forms the joint where bones meet. This breakdown of cartilage can lead to the bones of the joint grinding together causing pain and reduced mobility of the affected joint. The cartilage can break down as the result of an accident or injury to the joint, an infection in the joint, as a result of natural wear and tear, as a result of the body’s immune system attacking it or from the accumulation of urate crystals in the joint, as is the case with gout. Factors such as age, family history, gender, obesity and a previous joint injury can increase your risk of developing arthritis over time in one or more joints.
Symptoms of arthritis will vary based on the type of arthritis you have, how advanced your arthritis is and which joint or joints of the body are affected. In most cases of arthritis, symptoms can include pain, stiffness and swelling in the affected joint and surrounding area, redness and a decreased range of motion and decreased mobility in the affected limb. Arthritis in weight-bearing limbs can make it difficult and painful to walk or sit up straight. In the hands and arms, arthritis can make it difficult to grab or maintain a hold on objects, making daily tasks challenging. Joints affected by arthritis can also become twisted and deformed over time.
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