Tags: Arthritis | arthritis | joint | pain | inflammation

Arthritis and Joint Pain: Inflammation Is the Real Cause

By    |   Wednesday, 12 August 2015 03:13 PM

Arthritis is an inclusive term that actually refers to more than 100 different types of arthritis, all of which involve joint pain or joint disease.

The symptoms of arthritis are as varied as the types and can include swelling, pain, and stiffness, all occurring in moderate to severe levels and varying from person to person. Some types even affect the body’s organs, according to The Arthritis Foundation.

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The foundation breaks arthritis down into four basic types, each caused by different issues: degenerative, inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic. Inflammation plays a role in most forms, although it has little impact on osteoarthritis, WebMD said

Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are the most well-known of the inflammatory types of arthritis. They occur as the result of autoimmune issues, The Arthritis Foundation said.

"A healthy immune system is protective. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of infection and prevent disease," the Foundation explained. "But the immune system can go awry, mistakenly attacking the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, potentially causing joint erosion and may damage internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body."

In rheumatoid arthritis, the autoimmune system attacks the joints, causing inflammation in the tissues that line the joints.

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"If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage, the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves," The Arthritis Foundation said. "Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and the joint spacing between bones can become smaller. Joints can become loose, unstable, painful and lose their mobility. Joint deformity also can occur. Joint damage cannot be reversed, and because it can occur early, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control RA."

Strides forward in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis types make a difference in the long-term effects of inflammation and joint damage.

"We are still unraveling the mysteries of rheumatoid arthritis,” rheumatologist Dr. Gerald S. Harris told Everyday Health. “One thing the research shows us is that when we do a better job of controlling rheumatoid arthritis inflammation, we do a better job of decreasing rheumatoid arthritis disability. The good news is that with today's medication options, we can block a significant amount of rheumatoid arthritis inflammation." 

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Arthritis is an inclusive term that actually refers to more than 100 different types of arthritis, all of which involve joint pain or joint disease.
arthritis, joint, pain, inflammation
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 03:13 PM
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