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Posted October 23, 2019 by Mark A Cipriani, Jr., MD
Arthritis is a broad term covering a group of diseases involving inflammation in your body’s joints. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body but most commonly involves the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, feet, neck, or back. Most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joints. Some types can also affect the immune system and even some internal organs of the body. Continue reading to learn more about arthritis.
While there are many types of arthritis, by far the most common type is osteoarthritis. This usually affects people as they age and as their joints, specifically joint cartilage, wear down.
A less common type of arthritis is autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis. This occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the joints. Two familiar forms of autoimmune arthritis are rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
Crystalline arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by the abnormal formation of crystals in the joint. They can develop when certain substances are not properly absorbed or removed by your body. Gout is one form of crystalline arthritis.
People who develop arthritis may experience symptoms of swelling, pain and decreased motion of the affected joint(s). The location of the pain, however, depends on the person – for some people only a few joints are affected, others it may affect the whole body. As it progresses, arthritis can make it harder to do the movements you rely on for day to day activities.
Symptoms can be constant or may come and go and can range from mild to severe.
While a single cause of arthritis is not known, there are many risk factors that can raise your chances of developing arthritis, including:
Your doctor or a specialist may:
While arthritis cannot be cured, there are many treatments that can help keep you moving and living life as normally as possible including:
The treatment of autoimmune arthritis typically involves treatments that target the immune system.
If you have questions or concerns about joint symptoms you are experiencing it is best to discuss with your doctor. If you have any of these symptoms consistently, you should take the time to meet with your doctor to get help:
Here are some things you can do to keep your condition in check:
At Summa Health, our Orthopedic Institute is here to help you get the treatment you need to recover and get your joints moving the way you need them to. Our orthopedic specialists treat all conditions for bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Contact us today by phone at 330.835.5533 or online to schedule an appointment.