Arthritis is a serious diseased condition of the bone that needs prompt attention in detection, otherwise complications might arise that would disfigure the person concerned.
Arthritis is a joint disorder characterized by inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two bones meet and functions to allow movement of the body parts it connects. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more of these joints. Arthritis is most often accompanied by joint pain referred to as arthralgia.
Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic disease conditions that have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and many have the potential to affect internal body areas as well.
There are many forms of arthritis (over 100 have been discovered so far, and the number is growing). They are broadly grouped into:
• Osteoarthritis—those related to wear and tear of cartilage.
• Rheumatoid arthritis---those associated with inflammation as a result of an overactive immune system.
Together, the many forms of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
Arthritis can affect anyone; men and women, children and adults. Approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis. More than 40 million people in the United States alone are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children! More than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Statistics has it that nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women.
Arthritis: How It Affects The Body
Bone joints are covered by a tough, smooth tissue which enables easy gliding against one another. Arthritis affects these bone joints causing pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage and surrounding tissues. Such damage leads to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities in the bone joints and hinders normal tasks of the day. These patients encounter difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting food items to even brushing of their teeth.
Arthritis: The Signs
There are some tell-tale signs that one could have arthritis.
• The four major signs of arthritis include pain, swelling, redness and difficulty in moving. All these four signs may not present themselves at the same time but they are sure warning signs.
• Early morning stiffness, warm sensation in a joint, general weakness combined with joint pain, pain increase during the weather changes; especially cold weather, and sometimes cracking sounds in the bone joints while moving.
• Intensified ache in joints while exercising is the very first sign of arthritis.
• Another early sign of arthritis of arthritis is the experience of pains in the joints while waking up from bed in the morning. Such pains usually last for about 10-15 minutes.
• Hot sensation may be experienced in joints which can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Cold sensation and hardness in joints may be a sign of osteoarthritis. This hardness may be accompanied with pains or joint infection.
• If there is joint pain in one bone joint, it is usually transferred and felt in the other parallel member also. For example, if there is joint inflammation in some of the fingers of the right hand, the same kind of pain may be experienced in the corresponding left hand fingers also. This is a sure sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
When you begin to notice the above signs, know that it’s time to see a specialist who would give you the needed medical attention.