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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.
 
The most common types include Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid (RA), Psoriatic (PsA), Fibromyalgia and Gout.


General information on the different types of arthritis is:

Osteoarthritis is the most common type When the cartilage, the slick cushioning surface on the end of the bones, wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Overtime, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic.

Rheumatoid affects both sides of the body equally. Inflammation may occur in both the right and left wrist at the same time. Symmetrical inflammation can make mild hand swelling difficult to notice because there is no "normal" hand with which to make a comparison.
Rheumatoid nodules are hard rounded bumps made of inflammatory tissue and may develop underneath the skin near the affected hand joints.

Psoriatic arthritis: 30% of people with psoriasis (a skin condition characterized by itchy, scaly rashes and crumbling nails) also develop a form of inflammatory arthritis called psoriatic arthritis.

Fibromyalgia is a group of symptoms affecting various parts and functions. From muscle pain to sleep disturbances and anxiety are a few of the most common symptoms.

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The first symptom of gout is excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe.

There are many things that can be done to reserve joint function, mobility and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential.

Please let us know if there is any arthritis type that you would like to discuss.
Sandra
Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
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Please read my  Medical History
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