Articles on Arthritis
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Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia.
There are many forms of arthritis (over 100 and growing). The forms range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many forms of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis. Causes include injury (leading to osteoarthritis), abnormal metabolism (such as gout and pseudogout), inheritance, infections, and unclear reasons (such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus).
Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases. These are conditions that are different individual illnesses, with differing features, treatments, complications, and prognosis. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and many have the potential to affect internal body areas.
What are symptoms of arthritis?
Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present.
Many of the forms of arthritis, because they are rheumatic diseases, can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Therefore, symptoms in some patients with certain forms of arthritis can also include fever, gland swelling, weight loss, fatigue, feeling unwell, and even symptoms from abnormalities of organs such as the lungs, heart, or kidneys.