If you've previously injured yourself and find ongoing issues with painful joints, you might wonder if you have arthritis or a particular type of arthritis. Perhaps you've decided to investigate further and search for the common causes of arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that affects almost everyone. It tends to be very disabling and can be why many patients apply for disability. Arthritis is an inflammatory process involving the joints of the body. It commonly occurs in the knees, hands, and feet.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Arthritis?
Several things lead to arthritis, including heredity, age, obesity, infections, sugar and alcohol intake, joint damage, and general inflammation. If you want to understand the causes, it may be best to learn about the most common arthritis types.
Infections can also be the cause of arthritis. An example of this would be Lyme disease, an infectious complication of the bacteria carried on ticks. Lyme disease can typically lead to joint inflammation of the knees.
A nasty infection in the blood called sepsis can also lead to the complication of septic arthritis, which can be seen in the hands, hips, and knees.
What Are The Different Kinds of Arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis most commonly seen. It most often occurs in the elderly population. Some of the contributing factors to osteoarthritis are wear and tear, infection, and blood hormonal level issues. Osteoarthritis affects the elderly most of all, and it's often seen in several joints. It leads to bony degeneration over time. The bones become deformed, and the cartilage which supports the bones breaks down.
Another common type of arthritis is an autoimmune type called rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the lining of the joints. It's seen more often in people over 50 years of age, and it usually follows a previous injury or illness. Medical testing of the blood for factors produced in this inflammatory process is one of the primary methods utilized to make the diagnosis.
The other common type of arthritis is psoriatic arthritis, often a complication of psoriasis's skin disease. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease for which there is no current cure. It is also characterized by the autoimmune phenomenon where the immune system abnormally attacks normal cells in your body and causes inflammation of the joints.
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Effects of Inflammation
The inflammation in the joints is the main problem in cases of arthritis. Common injuries are often the source of inflammation and swelling. An infection, foreign body, or toxins in the system can also cause arthritis. Certain foods, environmental factors, and genetics also can lead to inflammation of joints.
When you have an inflammation of the joints, you will subsequently develop damage to the joint tissue. If the cartilage is damaged and cannot correctly replace itself, this results in stiffness and a loss of mobility. The goal in treating arthritis will be to address any underlying problems causing inflammation, restore mobility, and relieve pain.
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Another problem with arthritis progression is the risk of needing joint replacement. There are different types of surgery that can replace a joint to help correct the symptoms of arthritis. For example, many patients have had good outcomes with joint replacement surgery, such as in the knees, hips, or shoulders. The surgeries can be complicated to experience, which will deter some patients. However, as time has passed, the success of joint surgery has improved with better equipment and improved techniques.