Arthritis or inflammation of the joints is a common problem in advancing years and is one of the three most common health problems in older people. There are several types of arthritis, among which osteoarthritis is the most common. The most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Gout, etc. Osteoarthritis, strictly speaking, is not an inflammatory condition but an age-related degenerative disease. This condition strikes the weight-bearing joints of lower limbs, neck and back along with those of the hands. Pain may come and go and can vary from mild to severe. Most forms of arthritis are neither preventable nor curable. The goal of treatment of arthritis is to relieve pain and restore the functions in the affected joints.
The following factors may contribute towards a higher arthritis risk:
- Your genetic makeup or family history
- A physically demanding job, especially one with repetitive movements
- A previous injury
- Some infections or allergic reactions may cause short-term arthritis. When it is caused by an infection it is known as "reactive arthritis"
- For a number of people certain foods can either bring on arthritis symptoms, or make existing ones worse
- Obesity, or being overweight which places extra strain on joints
- Arthritis may also be caused by autoimmune disease.
Common Warning Signs of Arthritis
- Swelling in one or more joint(s)
- Morning stiffness lasting 30 minutes or longer
- Pain while climbing stairs
- Sudden, excruciating pain in a big toe
- Fatigue, flu-like symptoms
- Odd-looking bumps on fingers
- Achy hard to use joints
- Joint pain or tenderness that is constant or that comes and goes
- Not being able to move a joint in the normal way
- Redness or warmth in a joint
- Weight loss, fever, or weakness and joint pain that can’t be explained