Arthritis and joint pains, symptoms and information - Page 1
These two pages contain information about arthritis and joint pains. There are lots of things that can be done to help ease this discomfort and bring about some arthritis relief.
Easing the pain caused by arthritis
Arthritis comes from the Greek word "arthron" meaning joint. Arthritis literally means 'joint inflammation'. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 different diseases that produce joint pain and inflammation - everything from the flu to certain cancers. The two most common forms of 'arthritis' are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
What can cause arthritis?
Other diseases and infections which cause arthritis include:
gout*, psoriasis*, tuberculosis*.
*gout is a metabolic disease characterised by painful inflammation of certain joints, especially of the big toe and foot. One of the main causes is sodium urate which is deposited into these parts of the body. This is often caused by a diet being too rich in sugar, wine or junk foods.
*psoriasis: a skin disease characterised by the formation of reddish spots and patches covered with silvery scales: tends to run in families.
*tuberculosis: a communicable disease caused by infection with the bacterium tubercle bacillus, most frequently affecting the lungs.
Osteoarthritis symptoms and pain relief
Osteoarthritis (osteo - bones or bones) is a degenerative disorder in which the cartilage between the joints wears away.
The body attempts to repair this damage by producing bony outgrowths at the margins of affected joints, but these, in fact, cause pain and stiffness.
There are a number of theories about why the body does this and it is thought that is was some kind of survival mechanism in ancient times when a "fairly simple" broken bone could have been life threatening.
It is usually age-related and affects the hips, knees, spine and shoulders in particular. Obesity is an aggravating factor and excess weight can make it much worse.
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Rheumatoid* arthritis is a chronic, progressive disorder. The synovial* membrane lining the joint becomes inflamed, spreading over and eroding the cartilage, causing the characteristic pain and stiffness. Anaemia*, joint infections and pericarditis* are all complications of rheumatoid arthritis.
*rheumatoid: from latin rheumatisums catarrh, from Greek rheumatismos, from rheum : a watery discharge from the eyes or nose.
*synovial: a transparent lubrication fluid, secreted by the membranes lining the joints and tendon sheaths, etc
*anaemia: a deficiency in the number of red blood cells in the blood or in their reduced haemoglobin content.
*pericarditis: inflammation of the membranous sac enclosing the heart.