What Exactly Is Arthritis and What Are The Signs and Symptoms?

There are pain syndromes like fibromyalgia and arthritis-related disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, that involve every part of the body. There are relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in ‘tennis elbow’) and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. There are forms of the disease, such as gout, which almost nobody connects with arthritis, and there are other conditions – like osteoarthritis, the misnamed ‘wear and tear’ arthritis – that a good many people think is the only form of the disease.

How do you know if you have arthritis? While symptoms and severity vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are: pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, redness and warmth. Osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive stiffness without swelling, chills or fever. Rheumatoid arthritis is the painful swelling, inflammation and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs and wrists, which are prevalent on both sides of the body and are usually worse in the morning. Children with on-off fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and a blotchy rash on the arms and legs might have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You should call the doctor if symptoms appear suddenly, or if they are accompanied by a fever or rash.

The most common types of arthritis are: osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and systemic lupus erythematosus. Osteoporosis primarily affects the elderly because it is a degenerative disease resulting from a gradual loss of cartilage. Consequently, both joints and bones in the hips, knees, as well as the spine rub together, which results in both pain and muscle/nerve damage. Rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects those between 25 and 55 years of age and is characterized by a burning, stiff sensation in the hands, knuckles, arms, legs and feet. Fibromyalgia is a widespread pain disorder that never really goes away and is believed to be a malfunctioning of the nervous system. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) sufferers have fevers, fatigue, myalgias, joint pains and malaise. Approximately 30% of those with SLE also exhibit skin lesions and 10% suffer psychosis or seizures. Even though there are symptoms that can range from on-off pain to more serious degenerative disease processes, this is not a thing that you should have to simply suffer through.”

Local community news is usually filled with “Walks For Arthritis,” encouraging citizens to educate themselves about this common pain condition and raise money for those who suffer. Sometimes the best way to beat the disease is to meet with others who have it and combine experiences and knowledge. In support groups, you can hear about treatments that work or don’t work. Because arthritis is such a well known topic at this point in time, a lot of new research is coming out in regards to likely treatment.

To learn more go to Arthritis Foundation and at Natural Arthritis Treatment

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