I thought that over the next few days I would put up some posts about arthritis. My wife has settled with arthritis for years and not a lot has helped. There are of course a lot of pills on the market notably Vioxx and Celebrex (which my wife did take) the problems with these drugs is that the Cox-2 inhibitors have been linked to heart problems.
Arthritis is a general name for over 100 conditions and diseases that affect the joints of the bones. Many people with arthritis do not have any symptoms in the early stages, Later, there may be joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The muscles surrounding the joint may be sore, too. Some common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, and gout.
While not all of the causes of arthritis are known, several factors that may contribute to a person’s risk of developing the condition have been identified, including:
- Age: Arthritis can occur in people of all ages, including children, but it affects a large number of seniors.
- Heredity: Family history may determine the shape of the bones or whether there is weak cartilage in the joints.
- Being over: Extra puts stress on the joints, especially knees and hips.
- Injury and disease: Joints may be injured when doing the same activity repeatedly, such as sports injuries. Infections in the joint may also cause harm.
- Lack of physical activity: Activity is important in strengthening the muscles that support the bones, for helping joints move, and controlling body .
- Stress: Arthritis pain may flare during times of emotional stress.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, It can occur at any age, but usually develops after the age of 45 in both men and women.
Osteoarthritis usually affects the joints that carry our body -the hips, spine, knees, and feet-but it often affects the fingers, too.
In a healthy joint, the ends of the bones are covered by a smooth, tough material called cartilage that absorbs shock when we move and allows the bone ends to glide easily over each other. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage wears down and becomes thinner. This exposes the ends of the bones, and small bumps (spurs) of new bone might grow on them. The spurs decrease the space in the joint cavity, and this limits movement. Bits of cartilage may break off and cause pain and swelling (inflammation). Over time, the cartilage might wear away completely, and then the bone ends grind together. This grating sound can sometimes be heard when the joint moves.
The symptoms of Osteoarthritis usually develop slowly over time. The joint may be painful, swollen or stiff. Pain is often worse after exercise. Resting helps to control it. Sometimes there is more joint pain in rainy weather.
If the disease gets worse, the muscles that hold the joint together might get weak from lack of use. Other times, the joint loses its shape and may not work.