There are over a 150 different types of Arthritis, with the two most common types being ‘Osteoarthritis’, and the other, ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’. Once the disease develops, it tends to be one of those chronic illnesses that will persist, for the rest of the patient’s life.
By definition, Arthritis is described as ‘inflammation in your joints’. However, the way the joints are affected can vary to some degree, depending on what type of arthritis you have. For example, Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, whereby the immune system turns on itself and attacks the joints.
The type of arthritis most people think of, is Osteoarthritis, a condition affecting the joints by deterioration, when we get older, or sometimes it can be result of repeated trauma or an injury to an area. This happens because the cartilage surrounding the joint begins breaking down, and wearing a way over time. Without the cartilage as a cushion for the joints, they will rub together, which then results in pain. A lot of arthritic patients will commonly have pain in one or more of the large weight bearing joints, such as their hips, knees or ankles.
The types of symptoms you have will help identify the type of Arthritis you have. Symptoms such as stiffness in the joints when first arising, are important diagnostic clues in determining what form of Arthritis you may have, such as osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis to name a few. Blood tests will also be performed to help pinpoint the disease.
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