Arthritis, the What and Why
The pain of Arthritis is increased by the cost of Arthritis.
Arthritic expenditures for just one person due to lost wages,
medical treatment and other related expenses can come to more
than $150,000 in his or her lifetime. Face it, medical cost are
not going down, so that figure will probably double in 10
And doctors believe there are over 200 different forms of
arthritis, all sharing one main characteristic: all
forms cause joint inflammation.
What can be done to provide arthritis relief? Many
things, for example, weight and nutrition are only a couple of
factors that play a role in arthritic pain. Shedding even 10
pounds to relieve weight from knees and finding the right
nutritional strategy can help to relieve pain.
First let's go over some of the basic information about
Arthritis makes itself known in a variety of ways. Joints
might crack suddenly, like knees upon standing. Other joints
may be stiff and creak. Maybe pain occurs, like when trying to
open a jar. Don't mistake the common popping in your
joints for Arthritis. And no, popping your knuckles does
not cause Arthritis - at least that is what my doctor
Arthritis actually means joint inflammation and has
over 200 related conditions or type / forms of disease. Left
untreated, it can advance, resulting in joint damage that
cannot be undone or reversed. So early detection and treatment
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis
(OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Although both have similar symptoms, both happen for
When joints are overused and misused, the results can be OA.
What happens is that the cushioning cartilage that protects the
joint breaks down, resulting in the bones rubbing together.
This generally happens in the knees, but can be found in the
hips, spine and hands often, too. And only in later stages will
a person most often feel pain, after quite a bit of cartilage
The second type, RA, refers to the body’s immune
system attacking joint tissue. Still not fully understood in
the medical community, this condition most often starts in a
person’s hands, wrists and feet. Then it advances to shoulders,
elbows and hips.
Similar symptoms include pain, stiffness, fatigue, weakness,
slight fever and inflamed tissue lumps under the skin. And both
OA and RA generally develop symmetrically, i.e. affecting the
same joints on both the left and right sides of the body.
A difference in OA and RA is with swelling. With RA,
people report “soft and squishy” swelling. While with OA,
people report “hard and bony” swelling.
Another difference is that a person is more likely to
develop RA if a sibling or parent had it. While a person with a
history of joint damage, either an injury or chronic strain,
runs a higher risk for developing OA.
There is no specific age for arthritis sufferers. While it
can affect every age group, it seems to focus on those over 45
years of age. And while neither gender is immune, a reported 74
percent of OA cases (or just over 15 million) occur with women
and a slightly lower percentage of RA cases occur with
People with excess weight tend to develop OA, especially in
the knees when reaching over 45 years of age. However, losing
weight can turn the odds around almost by half. Regular
activity combined with exercise also reduces risk,
strengthening joint muscles and reducing joint wear.
OTHER MAIN TYPES OF ARTHRITIS
After osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
three other major types of arthritis are systemic lupus
erythematosis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout. Let’s take a
look at each.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE)
– This form of arthritis mainly affects women. It develops
in the skin, internal organs and joints.
– This form or arthritis affects the spine and can also
affect the ankles, knees, lungs, heart, shoulders and eyes.
– This is a painful affliction mainly for men, about one
million of them in the United States alone. Uric acid build up,
due to an internal chemical malfunction, forms crystals that
get stuck in a joint, generally the big toe, and become
If you suspect you may have arthritis, it is advisable to
seek medical advice. Because health care providers can help to
determine if the symptoms are not something else like a virus
or tendonitis or other similar problem that could potentially
worsen if left untreated.