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Arthritis
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints (the points where bones meet) in one or more areas of the body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, all of which have different causes and treatment methods. The symptoms of arthritis usually appear gradually but they may also occur suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65 but it can also develop in children and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is more common in women than men and in those that are overweight (CDC).

Causes:

Cartilage is a flexible, connective tissue in joints that absorbs the pressure and shock created from movement like running and walking. It also protects the joints and allows for smooth movement.

Some forms of arthritis are caused by a reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage tissue.

Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis have different causes, risk factors, and effects on the body:

  • Osteoarthritis pain, stiffness, or inflammation most frequently appears in the hips, knees, and hands.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hands and wrists but can also affect areas of the body other than the joints.

Symptoms

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Inflammation or swelling