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Q.

What is arthritis? What causes arthritis?

Related Topics: Arthritis
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

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A.

Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.

Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia.

There are many types of arthritis (over 100 identified, and the number is growing). The types range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many types of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.

The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis. Causes include injury (leading to osteoarthritis), metabolic abnormalities (such as gout and pseudogout), hereditary factors, the direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral), and a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity (such as in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus).

Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases. These are conditions that are different individual illnesses, with differing features, treatments, complications, and prognoses. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and many have the potential to affect other internal body areas.

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Answers from Contributors (1)

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A.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The cause varies depending upon the type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is mainly due to wear and tear of joints or excessive use or repeated use of joint related to certain occupation. Whereas, Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammatory condition in which the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule and can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint. 

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