Arthritis –

Posted: September 21, 2015 at 2:45 am

Arthritis is inflammation of a body joint. The two most common types are osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis occurs in older adults or after trauma and is caused in part by degeneration of the joint and increases with age. RA is an autoimmune disease that often occurs in younger adults where the bodys own defenses attack the joint lining.

Your doctor will likely conduct a complete physical and may perform blood tests to look for inflammation to help diagnose your condition. Additional tests may include bone x-ray, CT, MRI, or ultrasound. Treatment will depend on the type, severity and location of the arthritis and may include medication, therapy or surgery.

Arthritis means inflammation of one or more joints in the body. A joint is an area where two or more bones make contact and move against each other. The underlying cause varies with specific types of arthritis. There are over 100 forms of arthritis with the two most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is caused in part by degeneration of parts of the joint such as cartilage and increases with age. The increasing wear and breakdown on parts of the affected joint can result in reactive inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the bodys own defenses attack the normal joint lining. In this type of arthritis, the inflammation of the lining of the joint develops first and over time damages the component parts of the joint. Other relatively common causes of arthritis include trauma, abnormal limb alignment, infections, autoimmune conditions other than rheumatoid arthritis and abnormal deposits in the joints, such as in gout.

Some type of arthritis affects over 40 million people in the United States. More than half of those people have degenerative joint disease. Almost 60 percent of those affected by arthritis are women. While arthritis mainly occurs in adults, children can be at risk of certain types of arthritis such as those caused from injury and autoimmune diseases. Although any joint in the body can be affected, particular forms of arthritis have a tendency to occur in certain parts of the body. For example, rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the wrists and knuckles, feet, neck, and larger joints in the limbs while degenerative joint disease may affect the thumb bases, finger joints, knees, hips, shoulders, and lower spine.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

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When diagnosing arthritis, your doctor will likely do a complete physical examination of your entire body, including your spine, joints, skin and eyes. You may undergo blood tests to detect inflammation. In cases where an infection or gout is suspected, it may be useful to draw some fluid from a joint with a needle in order to analyze the contents of the material. In addition, your physician may order one or more of the following imaging tests:

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Treatment for arthritis depends on the type, severity and location of the disorder. Common treatments include:

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