Over one hundred types of arthritis have been identified and many more remain undetected as medical experts research the disease. Doctors often struggle to determine the correct type of arthritis as each and every type share common symptoms, and other forms are completely undetectable until the later stages.
Joint pains can be unbearable at times, especially for older people who commonly find themselves struggling with arthritis. It is a very stressful disease that can cause immense pain to patients, disabling them from handling some of the simplest day to day tasks. Recognizing the correct form of arthritis is an important step to take to eradicate the disease before it can become a nuisance in your life.
This type of arthritis is one of the most common forms which causes damage to the cartilage of the joints. The cartilage stops the bones rubbing together but osteoarthritis deteriorates the cartilage, and over time, the cartilage will stop functioning correctly, causing friction between the bones in your joints as they move. This inflicts a terrible pain in the joint region, making it very hard to move.
In early stages the pain is most active in cold weather, and often occurs during the morning; as the body warms up, the pain subsides only to return at night-time.
Rheumatoid arthritis focuses on the joint itself and is a disorder that causes the immune system to incorrectly identify healthy cells as bad cells in the joint. The pain is unbearable as the healthy cells in the joint area are attacked by the immune system. In later stages, deformities can occur in the joint area, and in even more severe cases some complications of the disease can lead to death.
Commonly concentrated on one area of the body septic arthritis is triggered by viral infections like mumps, measles, and rubella. It has also been known to travel through the bloodstream, damaging other parts of the body. A painful sensation can be felt traveling through the area as the joints become inflamed.
Another condition that can cause joint pains similar to arthritis is gout. When the body’s levels of uric acids increase, inflammation forms around the cartilage and joints and the acid remains in the area, causing extreme pain and damage to the joint. Gout is often found on the big toe. Sprain and bone injuries can also cause joint pains that have similar symptoms to arthritis.
When experiencing joint pains the best step you can take is to visit your doctor. A thorough exam will be conducted to correctly diagnose whether or not you have arthritis, and if so, which type you have. Simple exercises will be performed to measure the functionality of the joint.
Blood and urine tests can also be used to help narrow the results down. Additionally X-ray and CT scans can be used to properly examine the joint. The later stages of arthritis can be life changing in most cases, the sooner doctors can diagnose the true problem, the sooner they can give proper treatment.