Arthritis is not a single condition but rather a whole group of conditions that cause damage to the joints of the body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and the most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other common forms include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and certain autoimmune diseases. All of the different types of arthritis are characterized by a strong pain that occurs as a result of inflammation that affects the joint, damage to the joint resulting from a disease or strains.
Symptoms of arthritis pain
People affected with arthritis typically suffer from varying levels of pain, swelling around the joints and stiffness in the affected area. The constant ache around the joints is also commonly present. Patients may lose the ability to use the affected hand, or even walk. They will commonly feel very tired and may experience sleeping problems. Fever accompanied with muscle aches, and pains is also frequent with arthritis. Patients will feel general malaise, tenderness, and decreased aerobic fitness. Most of the people with arthritis will gradually lose some weight, for apparently unknown reasons. This only contributes to the overall unpleasant clinical image of this condition. Let us also note that arthritis remains the most common cause of disability in the United States, with more than 20 million affected individuals that are unable to lead their normal lives.
Causes of arthritis pain
Basically, the arthritis pain is caused by damage of the joints. A joint is made of cartilage, joint capsule and synovium. Cartilage is a hard and smooth ending of the bones which allows the bones to slide over each other while a person moves. Joint capsule is a membrane that encloses the joint caps, while the synovium lubricates the joint and nourishes the cartilage.
In osteoarthritis, the pain arouses as a result of wear and tear of the cartilage, as the bones rub one on another. This is a normal process that develops through many years, but certain kinds of sports injuries or infections may speed up the rate at which bones degrade.
In rheumatoid arthritis pain occurs as a part of autoimmune reactions. If this is the case, it means that the body’s immune system mistakes the joint tissues for foreign objects and attacks them. During this process, the synovium becomes inflamed and swollen, causing redness, pain and tenderness in the region. There is no cure for autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid arthritis commonly destroys the complete cartilage and bone contained by the joint.