Osteoarthritis: This is commonly referred to “wear and tear” arthritis. It is a degeneration of the cartilage matrix in the joints. Eventually it wears thin and the bones start to rub on each other, creating swelling, inflammation and pain. It is most common with people over 50 but can occur at any age. It primarily occurs in weight bearing joints-knees, hips and spine. It can also happen in joints that are constantly used i.e. hands and fingers
Some of the prevailing symptoms are:
Often this is confirmed by radiographic findings of bone spurs, joint narrowing and bone deformity with the involved areas.
Some of the major causes are:
Therapies used to address osteoarthritis include:
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system recognizes its own tissues surrounding and inside he joint as a foreign invader. It sets out to attack it and remove it as it would do with any other pathogen. It forms molecular complexes that infiltrate the joint and destroy the cartilage and surrounding tissues and fluids, leaving scar tissue as a replacement. This occurs in women three times more frequently and usually it happens between the ages of 20-50. 2.1 million Americans suffer with this malady.
It usually has a slow onset and affects the joints symmetrically. It starts in the smaller joints of the hands, wrist, feet and ankles and slowly progresses to the larger joints. It can get so sever it can lock up the joints.
It is confirmed by an RA factor in blood tests.
The following symptoms accompany RA:
The following factors are implicated in the development of RA:
The following modalities are used to address RA
Other autoimmune disease closely related to RA are lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and scleeroderma.