Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, which are the areas of the body where two different bones meet. It can affect one joint or multiple joints at the same time.
How Many Types of Arthritis Are There?
There are many various types of arthritis (over 100 have been identified). They can range from those related to the deterioration of cartilage (osteoarthritis), to a result of a misdirected immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis.
Other forms of arthritis include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
Symptoms associated with arthritis include:
- Joint redness
- Joint swelling
- Locking of the joint(s)
- Decreased range of motion
Risk Factors for Arthritis
- Family history: Some forms of arthritis run in families. Your genes can make you more vulnerable to environmental factors that may trigger arthritis.
- Age: The chances become higher of developing arthritis as you get older.
- Sex: Studies show that women are more likely to develop certain forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, than men. Men are more likely to have to have gout arthritis.
- Previous Injuries: If you previously injured a joint, perhaps while playing a sport, there is a high likelihood that you will develop arthritis in that joint later on in your life.
- Body: Excess weight puts more stress on your joints, particularly your knees and hips.
When severe arthritis affects your hand and arms, it can make it difficult for you to perform your daily activities.
Arthritis is particularly common in the knee. It causes difficulty walking and climbing stairs and can lead to serious disability.