major focus of our site is fitness, we occasionally deviate a little on order
to explore other health-related topics. Today we will be focusing on arthritis.
We have to come clean and state that we are no experts on the topic. As such,
we have republished content written by an expert for you to read. Enjoy:
is the name given for painful joint diseases. There are more than 100 different
forms of arthritis that affect more than 43 million Americans and 20% of the
adult population. This makes arthritis one of the most common health problems
in the United States.
Arthritis also is the leading cause of disability. Nearly 7 million people in the U.S., including 20% of people with arthritis, are unable to perform major life activities such as working or housekeeping because of this disease.
Arthritis sufferers endure more days in severe pain, experience more days with limited ability to perform daily activities, and have more difficulty performing personal-care routines than people without arthritis. As with other chronic pain conditions, arthritis has negative effects on mental health. Some forms of arthritis also make your RealAge older.
The Definition of Rheumatoid Arthritis
arthritis, known as Still’s disease when it affects children, is a condition
that causes inflammation of joints and associated pain, swelling, and
stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis causes the body’s own immune system to attack
joint tissue, breaking down collagen, cartilage, and sometimes bone or other
disease varies between people and fluctuates over time, often marked by
symptoms that improve only to re-emerge later. In some cases rheumatoid
arthritis is mild and lasts only a few months (this kind of rheumatoid
arthritis is called type 1), while in others the disease becomes progressively
complicated by disability and other health problems, lasting many years (this
is called type 2 rheumatoid arthritis).
Rheumatoid arthritis most often affects the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand, but can also affect joints in the feet and throughout the body. Anyone can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but women are more likely to develop symptoms, which most often begin between the ages of 20 and 30. The causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not yet understood, but many effective strategies have been developed to manage its symptoms.
symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint stiffness in the morning, often in the
hands or feet. Stiffness that persists for an hour or more, or swelling and
pain that lasts for more than six weeks, may be indicative of rheumatoid
arthritis. Joint discomfort is typically symmetrical, i.e. both hands will hurt
or feel stiff, not just one. Early rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also may
include fever, excessive tiredness, or pea-sized lumps called
“nodules” that can be felt under the skin.
possible rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include anemia, appetite loss, and the
accumulation of fluid in the ankles or behind the knee. In children, symptoms
may include shaking chills and a pink rash may follow the characteristic
painful and swollen joints.
Why Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Painful
How joint pain and the destruction of cartilage are related is not fully understood. Cartilage itself does not cause pain because there are no nerve structures in cartilage to transmit pain signals. Most likely, the pain of rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the irritation of other tissues in and around the affected joints. This irritation may be caused by chemical-messenger substances, such as prostaglandin E2, that are associated with the disease process. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain because they inhibit the production of prostaglandins.
Other Conditions That Can Cause Pain
stiffness similar to rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can be caused by many other
conditions. Even if injury or infection can be ruled out, anything from bunions
to fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome can cause pain.
medical professional can identify many sources of joint pain, because similar
symptoms can result from other autoimmune diseases, from serious conditions
such as cancer, or from many other kinds of arthritis.
The Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
of rheumatoid arthritis are not fully understood, but important contributing
factors have been identified. The self-destructive immune response of
rheumatoid arthritis may be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility
and an environmental trigger. Changing hormones also may play an important part
in the disease, possibly in response to an infection from the environment.
More than one gene has been linked to risk for rheumatoid arthritis. Specific genes may increase a person’s chance of developing the disease, and also could partially determine how serious his or her condition is. However, since not all people with a genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis actually have the disease, other factors must be important.
environmental trigger has not yet been found, but some research suggests that
infection by a virus or bacterium leads to rheumatoid arthritis in genetically
susceptible people. This does not mean that rheumatoid arthritis is contagious.
People with rheumatoid arthritis appear to have more antibodies in the synovial
fluid in their joints, suggesting that there may be an infection.
of hormones from the adrenal gland are common in people with rheumatoid
arthritis, but how hormones interact with environmental and genetic factors is
unknown. Hormone changes may contribute to the progression of the rheumatoid
Thanks to the contributors of this article. Although we are not experts in this topic and therefore can’t recommend specific products, here are some resources you may wish to check out regarding health in general:
Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. As of 2023, Mark spends his days as a People and Culture Manager. He holds three science degrees, a Diploma of Christian counselling, a Diploma of Human Resources, and a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan