Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology : (303) 788-1312
Specialists in Rheumatology….from Arthritis to Osteoporosis
 
Conditions We Treat

Symptoms and Risk Factors

Arthritis

The term Arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint, but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat and pain.

The cartilage is a padding that absorbs stress. Usually the pain early on is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is worn away, most of the pain comes from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on to each other.

Types

There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The three most common are:

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis and is also called as degenerative joint disease. It causes stiffness, swelling, tenderness, redness, heat and pain in the affected joint leading to reduced joint mobility. When severe, the joint may lose all movement and may cause disability.

It occurs most often in older people. The risk factors include age, menopause, obesity, injury to joints and overuse of the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an auto-immune disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy joints, tissues, and organs. Its symptoms are similar to osteoarthritis but also include fatigue, fever, neck pain, dryness of mouth and eyes and in severe cases may cause inflammation of even blood vessels and lining of the heart and lung. It may cause deformation of the affected joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis mostly affects the joints of the hands and feet and tends to be symmetrical. This means that the disease affects the same joints on both sides of the body (like both hands and both feet) at the same time and with the same symptoms. No other form of Arthritis is symmetrical.

Women are more prone to the disease. The other risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include genetic predisposition, smoking and presence of any other auto-immune disorder.

Gout: It usually affects the feet or toe. The most common joint affected by it is the big toe. It causes sharp unbearable pain which usually starts at night. It also causes redness and swelling of the affected joint.

The risk factors for gout includes diet rich in purines such as organ meat and legumes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease, sickle cell anemia and alcohol consumption.

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