Arthritis: Arthritis is a disorder that affects joints which results in inflammation, pain, and swelling. Although most people understand the manifestation of arthritis, it is important to understand that it manifests in various forms. Two major types of arthritis are; Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). Both forms have no cure and can only be managed.
RA and OA affect joints in the body with the same conditions, but they are of different formation and presentation. These conditions are a result of autoimmune disorders and degenerative disorders. An autoimmune disorder is a condition where a body launches an attack against itself. On the other hand, a degenerative disorder is the degeneration of body cells due to changes which that cause deterioration of tissues or organs in the body.
RA is an autoimmune disorder where the body responds to the soft lining covering joints as a threat. This causes accumulation of fluids within the joints. The results are swelling, pain, stiffness, and inflammation around joints. OA, on the other hand, is a common degenerative disorder. In this condition, cartilage breakdown and fail to cushion joints (Pelletier, 2012). As a result, bones rub against each other and expose nerves resulting to pain and inflammation. Both conditions are common in women than in men. They also occur in old age, but RA can attack at any age. OA can be a result of overweight, joint deformations, diabetes, and extended injuries to joints or gout. More so, RA can be hereditary.
RA symptoms include pain in joints, fever in children, muscle pains, and excessive fatigue. The disease can spread in the whole body. However, OA might not present any symptoms and is limited to joints only (Pelletier, 2012). Observable symptoms of OA include bone spurs and lumps around joints. RA can affect large joint such as knees, shoulders, and ankles while OA is common in hands and fingers and can affect the hips and spine. These conditions are not curable but can be managed for pain reduction, improve functionality and reduce joint damages.
Understanding the various form of arthritis is useful while seeking medical attention. It is notable that the disorder can manifest in different ways and affects all ages of persons. More so, it is important to pay attention to the main causes such overweight, extended injuries, deformation, and diabetes. It is important to understand that this disorder have no cure but can be controlled to reduce pain in the joints. It is advisable to be on the watch out of the mentioned symptoms for timely medical attention.
Pelletier, J. (2012). Skeletal involvement in the pathogenesis and outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 14(Suppl 1), O16. doi: 10.1186/ar3571