The inflammation or swelling of the body's joints is commonly called "arthritis". It is a dreading disease usually caused by the erosion of two opposing bones, formation of uric acid crystals around the joints, or the expected wear and tear of the joint as one ages. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis and osteoarthritis. The most common body areas affected by it are the fingers, wrists, neck, hips, back, and feet.
Arthritis is by and large a disease of the elderly, but children can also be affected by it. According to research, over 50% of individuals in North America affected by arthritis are mostly aged 65 and above. It is more common in women than men at all ages and brings suffering to all races and different cultures. An estimated 46 million individuals have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and statistics are foreseeing that by year 2030 there will be an estimated 67 million Americans aged 18 and older who can be diagnosed of arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
What is arthritis for most of its victims, if not life threatening, is a life consuming disease as it gives the individual limited physical activity. Some of arthritis signs and symptoms of arthritis, irrespective of its form, are as follows:
1. Inability to use the hand
2. Inability to walk
3. Fatigue or exhaustion
5. Weight loss
6. Inability to sleep continuously
7. Muscle aches
8. Tenderness or weakness
9. Difficulty moving the joint
10. Loss of flexibility
In children, arthritis can present itself with the following signs and symptoms:
1. Skin rash
4. Inability to move
5. Limited daily activities
So what is arthritis? It is a disease that threats to take away freedom to do important functions such as walking, crouching, bending, kneeling, climbing the stairs, and attending social activities. It is the main cause of disability in the USA and a very significant number of the population suffer from its severe effects. Because of incapacity to remain active, many arthritis patients also suffer from obesity, high cholesterol or heart disease. Often times, individuals with arthritis also become depressed because of feeling ineffective around the household and community, and more to the fear of its worsening arthritis signs and symptoms.