Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect the many tissues and organs, but first and foremost attacks synovial joints, the small joints in hands and feet.
Arthritis is painful inflammation of the joints that usually develops in the process of aging. The inflammatory process affects the lining of the joints and often causes swelling, thinning of the bones and joint deformity. This extremely unpleasant and painful medical condition may be very difficult to prevent.
Causes of inflammatory arthritis
Inflammatory arthritis refers to many kinds of degenerative and inflammatory disorders, but it can also result from an immune system that attacks itself. The real cause of rheumatoid arthritis is yet unknown but it seems like autoimmunity plays a significant role in the development of the disease. As in any other autoimmune disease, human immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign objects and starts to destroy them.
In inflammatory arthritis, immune system attacks the lining of the membranes that surround joins, destroying the cartilage and bone within the joint. Progressively, tendons and ligaments are becoming weak and may start to stretch, while the joints lose their form and position.
Genetic heritage may be somewhat responsible for development of inflammatory arthritis. However, genes are not a direct cause of rheumatoid disease, but they can make a person more vulnerable to certain environmental factors that may trigger the disease.
Symptoms of inflammatory arthritis
Symptoms of inflammatory arthritis are usually the same in every patient and every affected area of the body. Most frequently, the disease begins in the hands and smaller joints, and later it usually spreads to knees, ankles, elbows, and the toes and fingers. Stiffness and pain usually appear first thing in the morning or after sitting or holding a still posture for a while.
The pain can fluctuate depending on the day’s activities and may be accompanied by swelling in the joints. Pain is usually dull at the beginning but it gradually progresses into the chronic pain. In some cases, stiffness may be so severe that significantly reduces the movement of the joints.
Patients suffering from inflammatory arthritis may commonly experience swelling of the joints that is caused by the retention of fluids around them.
Swelling is both painful and limits the mobility of joints. Another disabling symptom of the disease is characteristic weakness in the limbs. Patients with inflammatory arthritis may often have troubles in holding or gripping objects properly.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go periodically. One should consult a medical practitioner if starts to feel constant discomfort and swelling of the joints on both sides of the body.