Arthritis includes various degenerative diseases, leading to disabilities if not treated. The term "arthritis" refers to joint inflammation and describes any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in a joint. Warning signs include redness, swelling, heat, and pain.
Types of arthritis
- Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, often occurring in older individuals, causes the cartilage to wear away over time. This results in joint pain and limited range of motion. In severe cases, the cartilage may be completely worn away, leading to bone-on-bone contact and the development of bone spurs.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disease, most often affecting women of childbearing age, which causes inflammation of the lining (synovium) of joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and joint deformities.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Develops after an injury to the hand, wrist, or elbow and may manifest years after the initial trauma, such as a fracture, severe sprain, or ligament tear.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Associated with psoriasis, a scaling skin disorder, this type affects the joints at the ends of the fingers and toes, potentially causing changes in the nails and back pain if the spine is involved.