Arthritis is a general term and refers to a condition that can affect nearly any joint in the body. In fact, there are about 100 variations and all are different in one way or another, but one thing they all have in common is pain and swelling associated around the affected joints.
In America, and many other parts of the world, arthritis is considered one of the most common causes of disability. The statistics are staggering: an estimated more than 45 million people in the U.S. suffer from arthritis in one form or another. This figure includes more than 300,000 children.
As mentioned above there are about 100 types of arthritis, but the three most common types are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis juvenile.
The different types of arthritis are the result of different things that occur in the joints. In simple terms, the bones are united by ligaments; the ligaments are similar to an elastic band that can stretch and then return to its original form.
The surface covering is called cartilage bones, which prevents the bones in contact directly with each other and allow them to move freely. In between is a capsule containing a lubricant called synovial fluid. The liquid level is kept covered so you can move your joints without wear.
However, when a person suffers from arthritis, there may be several things going wrong. Potentially, it could be worn cartilage, the lack of synovial fluid, which means that the joints are not lubricated, so rub and wear away, or it could be due to infection.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the fingers and wrists but can also affect the arms and legs often. In most cases, if a person has rheumatoid arthritis in a wrist will then also in the other. The joints become swollen, painful and often inflamed. If not used for a while it hardens, patients with rheumatoid arthritis tend to find the worst symptoms in the morning.
Osteoarthritis begins slowly and gradually gets worse as time passes. Affected joints are painful and sensitive. As with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are worse in the morning. The joints most commonly affected are the hips, hands and knees and can be very debilitating condition. Over time it can become very difficult and painful to move certain joints.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as the name suggests affects children. Is presented differently to the two previous types. A child has a fever that gets worse as the night progresses and yet in a couple of hours later will have disappeared completely. Weight loss occurs because the patient has little appetite. The spots or rash may appear on the arms and legs and it is possible that the child can walk with a limp. Several joints become inflamed very quickly. The main joints affected are the neck and hips, but can affect many other joints.
The author is a health care enthusiast and blogs everything about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at juvenile-rheumatoid-arthritis.com/