Arthritis

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Arthritic conditions, also called rheumatic conditions, are a variety of diseases that cause chronic, intermittent pain and swelling of the joints and connective tissue.

Types of Arthritic Conditions

There are many different types of arthritic conditions, including:

• Rheumatoid arthritis. RA is one of the most common types of inflammatory arthritis. It’s a chronic condition that occurs when your body’s immune system begins to attack the joints. The cause of RA isn’t known, and symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness. At first, rheumatoid arthritis usually only attacks a few joints, but over time it affects more joints.

• Reactive arthritis. RA typically affects the joints of the lower body including the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. It typically occurs one to four weeks after an infection of the bowels or genitourinary tract. Reactive arthritis can be triggered by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis or HIV.

 Osteoarthritis. OA is the most common type of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. Often affecting people in their 50s and 60s, OA is caused when the cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down. Often, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and swelling. Osteoarthritis is most common in the joints of the knees, hips, hands, fingers, neck and spine, although it can affect any joint in the body. OA can even occur in the back, and then it’s also known as degenerative disc disease.

• Ankylosing spondylitis. AS is a chronic type of arthritis that affects the lower back. While the cause of AS isn’t known, it occurs when the immune system attacks the back, causing inflammation and resulting in pain and stiffness. Similarly to osteoarthritis, the body attempts to repair your lower back by growing new bone, which often grows across the joint and may even become fused. Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms include pain and stiffness in the joints in the lower back, spine, hips, knees and shoulders.

• Psoriatic arthritis. PsA is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It’s a chronic condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the joints and the skin for reasons unknown. In most cases, PsA affects a few joints in the body, such as the knee, toe or wrist. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include warmth, swelling and pain in the joints. The skin is also affected with psoriasis, becoming red, scaly and inflamed. Psoriasis patches or plaques often appear on the scalp, elbows, lower back and knees, although it can appear on the scalp, fingernails or toenails.

• Gout. This type of inflammatory arthritis is caused by a buildup of uric acid.  While gout is most common in men, women can get it too. Your body makes uric acid, and you also get it from certain foods and drinks. In most people, the amount of uric acid the body produces equals the amount being excreted in urine.

 Lupus. This arthritic condition can manifest in many ways and is sometimes referred to as the "disease of 1000 faces," because it can present very differently in each person. Some types of lupus only affect the skin, while other types affects the skin, joints and some organs. Lupus is is a chronic, long-term autoimmune disease. For reasons unknown, the body's immune system becomes activated and begins to attack the body's own tissues.

If you’re experiencing arthritis symptoms, see your physician. He or she may refer you to a rheumatologist for further diagnosis and treatment.

Talk to your family physician, Rheumatlogist, if you'd like more information on arthritic conditions

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  • Arthritic conditions, also called rheumatic conditions, are a variety of diseases that cause chronic, intermittent pain and swelling of the joints and connective tissue.

  • There are many different types of arthritic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic type of arthritis that affects the lower back. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the joints in the lower back, spine, hips, knees and shoulders.

  • Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid. Your body makes uric acid, and you also get it from certain foods and drinks. In most people, the amount of uric acid the body produces equals the amount being excreted in urine.

  • Lupus is an arthritic condition that can manifest in many ways, so it is sometimes referred to as the "disease of 1000 faces." Lupus is is a chronic, long-term autoimmune disease. For reasons unknown, the body's immune system becomes activated and begins to attack the body's own tissues.

Adherence:
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes. Often seeing a physiotherapist can help with arthritus 

Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal and causes inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis is the main cause of disability among people over 55 years of age in industrialized countries. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and juvenile arthritis.

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