Arthritis is a disease that in some way effects everyone. Whether you have arthritis or not, chances are, you know someone who does and can see the effect it has on them. There are some common misconceptions about arthritis, types of arthritis, and the causes. There are in fact some different types of the disease that most people don’t know about. Arthritis is a general term for approximately 100 diseases that produce either inflammation of connective tissues, particularly in joints, or non-inflammatory degeneration of these tissues. The word means "joint inflammation," but because other structures are also affected, the diseases are often called connective tissue diseases.
The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Each form damages joints in different ways. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to your joint's cartilage. Enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
Determining the cause of arthritis has proved to be difficult, but there are several factors that can cause it. Some scientists argue that arthritis is hereditary. The genes can transmit this disorder from one generation to another. Age is another factor. As people grow old, the joint cartilages will become brittle and have less power to repair them. For this reason, arthritis is common among the elderly. Weight is a contributing factor that can contribute to the effects of arthritis. People who are overweight will experience the symptoms of arthritis more than people...
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