Arthritis is a word that is often used to refer to any disorder that affects joints. Symptoms usually involve pain and stiffness in joints. Other symptoms may include redness, heat, swelling and reduced motion of the affected joints. In some types, other organs are also affected. The start may be slow or sudden.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis. The most common forms and by which a lot of people are suffering today is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually occurs with age and affects fingers, knees, and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that often affects hands and feet. Other types further include gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, and septic arthritis. They are all kinds of rheumatic diseases.
Treatment may involve alternating between joint relaxation and placement of ice and heat. Weight loss and exercise can also be useful. Pain drugs such as ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen) can be used. A joint replacement may be useful in some.
Osteoarthritis affects people over 3.8%, while rheumatoid arthritis affects about 0.24% of people. Gout affects approximately 2-2% of the western population in its life. About 15% of people in Australia are affected, whereas in the United States more than 20% of people have a type of arthritis. Overall, the disease becomes normal with age.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the common reasons that people lose weight and can result in a decrease in quality of life. This word has been taken from Arthur - (semantic joint) and -itis (meaning swelling).