Do you experience body aches, joint pains, and muscle stiffness? Does it occur in one spot or multiple areas in your body? Does the pain feel worse when the weather is colder? These annoyances and discomforts are inevitable with age. If you are suffering persistently from aches, pains, and stiffness, however, then it might be indicative of arthritis.
Arthritis is the result of the inflammation of one or more joints in the body. The condition affects each person differently and its causes and solutions also vary.
The body’s joints consist of interconnected bones. Holding these bones together are the cartilage, ligaments, and fluids. When arthritis attacks, however, everything around the joints become inflamed and painful, thus arthritis can be a debilitating disease.
Who Is Prone to Arthritis?
Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is no longer a disease just for the elderly. While it’s no surprise that most adults over 65 experience this painful physical ordeal due to a regression that comes with age, people as young as 18 years old might also develop the condition.
In 2015, experts found that 91 million adults aged 18 to 64 years old suffered from the condition in America. It has been shown that young people develop arthritis due to obesity or body stress from playing sports or exercising forcefully. It was also observed that old people are not usually aware that the pain they are feeling is already some form of arthritis and this is because the condition comes in many forms.
Types of Arthritis and Their Symptoms
Arthritis can be categorized into a hundred different types but the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis – The elderly almost always develop osteoarthritis, where the pain manifests in the hips, spine, knees, ankles, and feet. People with weight problems, regardless of age, are also prone to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis happens due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the bones. The condition worsens with increased body weight, which put additional stress on your joints. At least 30 million adults received treatment for osteoarthritis in 2013 in the U.S.
What happens if you have osteoarthritis? You might feel your joints swelling and you might have a hard time walking, climbing the stairs, sitting down or squatting. Your joints might also feel warm. You might find that resting causes muscle stiffness.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – A type of autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis causes the joints to weaken due to bacterial or viral attacks. Rheumatoid Arthritis pain starts out gradually, sometimes occurring every couple of years. The condition either fluctuates or lingers before spreading out to various body areas if left untreated. Approximately 75 percent of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis are women and the condition can develop as early as 30 years old.