People often hear the term arthritis as if it were one medical condition. The truth is that arthritis is not just one condition. This one word is used to describe over 100 different medical disorders. In order to be considered to be under the arthritis category, the condition that patients are suffering from will result in the following symptoms:

• Inflammation
• Pain in the vicinity where at least two bones meet
• Stiffness
• Deterioration of the bones’ cartilage

Arthritis is considered to be an older person’s disease, but it would not be unusual for infants to be diagnosed with the disorder. People of all ages can suffer from arthritis, including children, young adults, middle aged adults and older adults. Furthermore, those suffering from this condition may experience difficulties with important movements.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Most people have heard of osteoarthritis, and it is the most common arthritic condition in Americans over the age of 60, but it can occur in people of all ages. Osteoarthritis affects the bones’ cartilage and causes it to break down. When the bones slide against each other, they do not have sufficient cushioning to keep the patient from feeling pain in the area. The sliding action is what causes swelling and the inability to enjoy a full range of motion.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout

Other common forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system turns against itself. Rather than just fight foreign substances, the immune system begins to attack the synovium, a substance that lines the joints. As this unwarranted attack continues, the area begins to swell and it becomes painful.

Gout is known to be more painful than any other type of arthritis. This painful condition occurs when uric acid builds up and causes crystals to gather at the joints. A common area for this condition is the big toe. Signs that someone is suffering from gout are redness and swelling in the big toe where the disorder begins in most cases. It may feel sore and warm to the touch.

Treatment for Arthritis

Arthritis can be treated with surgery and prescription medications, but some people prefer the natural remedies. Regular exercise routines can work to reduce the pain of arthritis. Arthritis suffers may also obtain relief from over-the-counter drugs that their physicians can recommend. Physicians and nutritionists can also help arthritis sufferers avoid foods that trigger their conditions and eat more of the foods that benefit them.

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