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Arthritis is a group of conditions, (there are over 120 different forms of arthritis), involving damage to the joints of the body. Arthritis is more common in women than men at all ages and affects all races, ethnic groups and cultures. The most common form of arthritis is: osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) which is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age (getting older results in degenerative joint disease). Osteoarthritis causes cartilage, the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint, to break down. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints (synovium). Uric acid crystals, infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis. Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include joint pain and progressive stiffness that develops gradually. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body, especially upon awakening.
Pain is often a constant and daily feature of the disease. The pain may be localized to the back, neck, hip, knee or feet. The pain from arthritis occurs due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscles strains caused by forceful movements against stiff, painful joints and fatigue.
The most important factor in treatment is to understand the disorder and find ways to overcome the obstacles which prevent physical exercise. While neither Rheumatoid arthritis nor osteoarthritis can be completely prevented, one can reduce the risks by becoming physically active, getting chiropractic care, participating in physical therapy, losing weight and eating healthy.