There are over one hundred forms of arthritis and related disorders. For instance, osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of the disease. However, you will also come across gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia. All of these diseases have in common that they cause pain and many of them cause severe pain.
What is arthritis? It is very basically an inflammation in the body which can cause pain and swelling, and is often found in and around the joint. The fluid filled sack inside the joint becomes inflamed, and this is what causes the pain. But, as we learn more about arthritis some diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Lupus, may soon be reclassified as arthritis.
How do I Know if I Have Arthritis?
A doctor can perform a blood test to check your inflammatory response, but that may not be necessary. It is a very easy condition to diagnose, and the doctor will start by examining the affected part of the body. If it is a knee, he will flex the joint and feel all around it. If the joint offer resistance, and is less flexible, you may be diagnosed with arthritis.
When symptoms are severe, and you are finding it difficult to walk, your doctor may order an MRI scan or an X-ray. It means that your doctor would like to see what is going on inside the joint. If he discovers that the surfaces of the joint, are rubbing together, he may even suggest a joint replacement.
Who Gets Arthritis?
Anybody can get arthritis, and it does not matter how fit we are, arthritis can affect all of us. It is more common these days, and we often see perfectly healthy and sporty people suffering from it. The fact is that they may be overdoing it, so you want to think carefully how you exercise.
Stand in front of the mirror, and look at your body. Start moving one joint at a time, and you soon appreciate that we are made to walk. That is right; your body was not put together so that you can do step aerobics. Did you know that aerobic fanatics are much more likely to end up having to have early hip replacements than an average fit person?
That really goes to prove that anybody can get arthritis, and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves against arthritis.
How Common is Arthritis?
Arthritis is very common, and it is fair to say that we all have a bit arthritis by the time we hit 50 years young. You may notice it in the form of feeling a bit stiff in the morning, or a bit achy after a long day at work. It is important to try and establish what kind of arthritis you have.
The more we understand about this condition, we come to appreciate that we can treat it ourselves.
The different forms need slightly different treatment, and once you know what you are dealing with, you can start to look after yourself properly. Osteoarthritis is for instance arthritis caused by wear and tear on the body, and experienced by a lot of sports people. What is arthritis is not such a big deal, how we treat it is what really matters.