Arthritis - causes, symptom, Treatment of Arthritis


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Home :: Arthritis

Arthritis - causes, symptom, Treatment of Arthritis

The word ‘arthritis’ means ‘inflammation of joints’. It comes from two Greek words, athron meaning joints and its meaning inflammation. It is a chronic disease process. In the early stages, the whole body is usually involved and one or two joints may become completely deformed, leaving the patient handicapped and somewhat weakened. Arthritis assumes various forms, the most frequent being osteroarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is the main feature of arthritis, which is a reaction of the joint tissues to some form of damage or injury.

The word ''arthritis" refers simply to inflammation of a joint, and comes from two Greek words, arthron meaning joint and it's meaning inflammation One common feature of this condition - Arthritis - is the inflammation of the lining membrane, or synovium,of the involved joint; hence this is not, strictly speaking, the same as Arthritis.

Rheumatism, on the other hand, is a vague term generally used for various aches and pains in muscles and joints and means different things to different people. To some it conjures up a form of arthritis, yet to others its meaning is less well-defined. Even doctors don't agree to has become a more acceptable diagnosis to rhematologists, meaning pain and stiffness in the soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Inflammation and Arthritis

The main feature of arthritis is Inflammation, which is a reaction of the joint tissues to some form of injury or damage. The consequences of this kind of reaction were known even in ancient times.

Celsius, a Roman Physician of the first century AD, listed four major signs of Inflammation: heat, pain, rubor and tumor. A fifth sign, loss of function is sometimes added. Although the description refers to inflammation and reflects, remarkably accurately, the symptoms experienced by those afflicted with arthritis. In addition, there may be a slight rise in body temperature, headache, loss of appetite and general feeling of ill-health.

Characteristics of Arthritis

We now know that the changes in the body responsible for these symptoms are fairly complex. In simple terms, they consist of a widening of the blood vessels in the synovial membrane with an increase of blood sent by the body to the affected joint. The blood vessel walls then leak proteins and fluids, which make up part of the blood, into the surrounding tissues.

Causes and other Characteristics of Arthritis

Another characteristic change is the white blood cells (leucocytes) traveling through these blood vessels. This swelling of he blood vessels and accumulation of fluid in the inflamed tissues explains the redness, warmth and swelling first observed by Celsius Pain comes from the irritation of the specialized nerve endings within the joint, though how this happens is not really known. Much research has been undertaken in arthritis to find out what really triggers off inflammation. This has revealed that a large number of chemical substances, naturally present in the human body, take part.

If the injury or damage to the joint is temporary or not too severe, the acute inflammation subsides and reaping by the body begins. Blood vessels return to their original size, normal blood flow is established, the white blood cells either die or re-enter the blood vessels, tissue fluid is absorbed into the circulation and injured cells are replaced. If, on the other hand, the reasons for the inflammation carry on, the carrot juice benefits becomes lasting,or chronic.

Sign and Symptoms of Arthritis

The symptoms and signs described above are less dramatic, but they are disabling nonetheless. Healing is only partial, occurring side by side with grumbling inflammation. The main feature of the membrane lining the joint by various types of cells - scavenger and repair cells, large and small. The body fails to eliminate the foreign invader and becomes a little confused, some of these cells being responsible for the inflammation remaining.

Recent research has thrown light on the way in which some of these cells are involved in damage to the joints. Normally, the body can tell what is 'self' and what is 'foreign': this is called the body's immune system. In certain situations, this system becomes defective and the body's defense cells produce antibodies which the human body makes to destroy disease-making against itself, so much so that they accuse tissue injury. A vicious circle is set up, wit inflammation producing joint damage, which makes the body product antibodies which produce yet more inflammation and mischief! Arthritis can afflict anybody but is more commonly found in seniors.

Types of Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteo Arthritis


Treatment of Arthritis

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Disclaimer: All information on is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.