Arthritis: Causes and Symptoms


The term arthritis is often used as a synonym for any ailment that causes a joint problem. Arthritis is basically inflammation of joints that can affect one or multiple joints, tissues surrounding the joints, and other connective tissues.

Did you know that there are possibly more than 100 types of arthritis with different arthritis causes and arthritis treatment method? The two most common types of arthritis that majorly affects the population are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Arthritis mostly affects people aged 65 or older but can also develop in younger adults, teens and even children. Severe arthritis can cause chronic pain and makes it difficult for a person to do simple daily chores like walking and climbing stairs. But, what really causes arthritis? Let us discuss the possible arthritis causes in detail.

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Arthritis causesArthritis Causes

Different types of arthritis have different causes and it is really difficult to point a common cause for arthritis. The causes of the two most common form of arthritis are explained below:

Osteoarthritis- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. In this condition, the joint’s cartilage known as the slick; which is a firm a cushioned surface on the ends of the bones, wears away causing the bone to rub against each other. It leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness which restrict movement. The pain can become chronic over time and the joints also lose strength over time.

Rheumatoid Arthritis- Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder which is developed when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. This affects the synovium or the soft tissue that produces a fluid that lubricates the joints and also nourishes the cartilage. As a result, the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and swollen. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that can eventually destroy both bone and cartilage inside the joint. The other risk factors that can act as arthritis causes are:

  • Genetics: Arthritis often runs in the family. If the parents suffer from arthritis there is a high chance that the kids will develop the disease over time. Several other environmental factors can also interact with the genes to further increase the risk of developing arthritis.
  • Age: Growing age is one of major arthritis causing factors. People approaching or of the old age are more prone to the risk of developing arthritis.
  • Sex: 60 percent of all the people with arthritis are women.
  • Obesity: Obesity can be a leading cause that contributes towards the progression as well as the onset of knee osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts stress on the knees and hips and increases the risk of developing arthritis.
  • Previous joint injury: Previous joints problems increases the chances of eventually developing arthritis.
  • Infection: The development of various forms of arthritis can be triggered by microbial agents that can infect joints.

Arthritis symptomsArthritis Symptoms

Pain which may range between mild to severe and a burning sensation is the most common arthritis symptoms. The arthritis symptoms can develop suddenly or over a period of time. Some of the symptoms common in all types of arthritis are:

  • Swelling and stiffness of joints
  • Redness of the joints
  • Inability to walk or use the hands properly
  • Stiffness of joints that worsens in the morning
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty in moving the joint
  • Joints deformity
  • Limping
  • Muscle aches and pain around the joints
  • Tenderness of joints

In a few cases, arthritis along with joints can affect other organs in the body developing a variety of symptoms like fever, weight loss, swelling of glands, loss of flexibility, decreased aerobic fitness and muscle weakness.

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