What Exactly Is Arthritis and What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

September 29, 2008 by admin 

There are pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. There are relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in ‘tennis elbow’) and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are forms of the disease, such as gout, which almost nobody connects with arthritis, and there are other conditions – like osteoarthritis, the misnamed ‘wear and tear’ arthritis – that a good many people think is the only form of the disease.

How do you know if you have arthritis? While symptoms and severity vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are: pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness and warmth. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive stiffness without swelling, chills or fever. Rheumatoid arthritis is the painful swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs and wrists, which are prevalent on both sides of the body and are usually worse in the morning. Children with on-off fever, loss of their appetite, loss of body weight and a rash that is blotchy that are on the arms as well as legs may have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You should call the doctor if symptoms appear suddenly, or if they are accompanied by a fever or rash.

The most common types of arthritis are: osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and systemic lupus erythematosus. Osteoporosis primarily affects the elderly because it is a degenerative disease resulting from a gradual loss of cartilage. As a result, bones and joints in the knees, hips, and spine rub together, causing pain and muscle/nerve damage. Rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects those between 25 and 55 years of age and is characterized by a burning, stiff sensation in the hands, knuckles, arms, legs and feet. Fibromyalgia is a widespread pain disorder that never really goes away and is believed to be a malfunctioning of the nervous system. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) sufferers have fevers, fatigue, myalgias, joint pains and malaise. Roughly 30% os the people who have SLE additionally show lesions of the skin and 10% also are afflicted with seizures of psychosis. While symptoms range from on-off pain to severe degenerative disease, this isn’t something that should just be “suffered through.”

Local community news is usually filled with “Walks For Arthritis,” encouraging citizens to educate themselves about this common pain condition and raise money for those who suffer. Sometimes the best way to beat the disease is to meet with others who have it and combine experiences and knowledge. In support groups, you can hear about treatments that work or don’t work. Because arthritis is such a well known topic at this point in time, a lot of new research is coming out in regards to likely treatment.

To learn more go to Arthritis Pain and at Ankle Arthritis


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