What Is Arthritis? Facts You Must Know
Chronic conditions cover a broad spectrum of diseases and arthritis is one of those terrible conditions. Arthritis is an inflammation condition in which joints are swollen making it difficult for the person to perform any physical movements in the affected area.
Unlike to popular thinking, arthritis is not a single disease, there are about 100 different types of arthritis, each with different causes and treatment methods. Rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis are the two most common types of arthritis.
- According to WHO, 1 in 6 people and one in three families suffer from arthritis in India. That translates to about 15 to 17 percent of the total Indian population.
- According to doctors, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in India, affecting over 15 million adults every year.
- The country is on the verge of becoming the osteoarthritis capital of the world with over 60 million cases expected by the year 2025. Out of 60 million, about 80 percent will be aged 65 and above including the 40 percent which are likely to suffer from the serious form of osteoarthritis.
- According to one study under the guidance of WHO, there could be nearly 5 million patients with rheumatoid arthritis in India
What causes Arthritis?
Cartilage, the connective tissue in the joints protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock while a person moves and put stress on them.
A decrease in the amount of cartilage tissue causes some form of arthritis while osteoarthritis, the most common form is caused due to normal wear and tear, infection or injury.
Signs and Symptoms
- The most common signs of arthritis are joint pain, stiffness and swelling
- Redness of skin around the joint
- Tiredness and loss of appetite due to inflammation
- Decrease in the range of motion (Difficulty moving one or more joints)
Risk Factors of Arthritis
- Arthritis is one of the most common conditions of people aged 65 and above
- Arthritis is more common in people who are overweight
- Children are also not immune to this disease while teenager and young adults are also affected
- People who have previous joint injury are more likely to develop arthritis
- Some types of arthritis run in families. Genes can make susceptible to the environmental factors
Arthritis is incurable
There is no cure for arthritis but it can be treated and controlled by various methods of managing pain and cutting the risk of getting permanent joint deformity and disability.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Auto-immune Disease
Rheumatoid Arthritis, another most common form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which patient’s own immune system or anti-bodies attack its own tissues of joint causing stiffness and inflammation.
Scientists are still finding the reason but it is considered to be a genetic disposition to the disease. Chronic inflammation can cause damage to bone, ligaments and cartilage results in possible deformity or disability.
Women 3 times more vulnerable to Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sad but it’s a fact. The reason is still unknown but experts believe hormones may have something to do with it.
The most common window for women to get rheumatoid arthritis is between 20 and 60 age group.
Arthritis is not a modern disease
Though we often hear the rising number of arthritis, it is by no means a modern disease. In fact, it is one of the oldest disease known to humankind and dates back to 5,00,000 years.
When arthritis is left undiagnosed and untreated, it may lead to permanent or irreversible injury to the bones, joints, organs, and skin.