Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not just a condition that besets the elderly. In fact, even people as young as teenagers can get it too.
Simply put, arthritis refers to joint inflammation, infection or pain. Like a number of other diseases, the causes are not easy to determine. However, they have often been linked with some common risk factors.
These factors include:
- Previous injuries
- Joint infections
- High-level sports
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis conditions, of which osteoarthritis is the most common.
Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis (also known as wear and tear) occurs more frequently as we age. It commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees.
Most cases of osteoarthritis have no known cause and are referred to as primary osteoarthritis. When the cause of the osteoarthritis is known, the condition is referred to as secondary osteoarthritis.
If stiffness in the joints comes on suddenly and is accompanied by a fever, it could be the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. This chronic condition can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint deterioration.
Glucosamine pills, Choodroitin, and hot, topical creams such as Glucosamine creams can help to soothe the stiffness. Putting in effort to exercise is also encouraged, as inactivity weakens the surrounding muscles and this increases pain.
Common signs and symptoms of arthritis include:
- Pain or tenderness in the joints that flare up with movement
- Swelling of joints
- Stiffness and/or redness
- Loss of range of motion
- Loss of flexibility
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Non-specific fever