Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The most common form,osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), is a result of trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, or age. Other arthritis forms are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and related autoimmune diseases. Septic arthritis is caused by joint infection.
The major complaint by individuals who have arthritis is joint pain. Pain is often a constant and may be localized to the joint affected. The pain from arthritis is due to inflammation that occurs around the joint, damage to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear of joint, muscle strains caused by forceful movements against stiff painful joints andfatigue.
Signs and symptoms of arthritis
Regardless of the type of arthritis, the common symptoms for all arthritis disorders include varied levels of pain, swelling, joint stiffness, and sometimes a constant ache around the joint(s). Arthritic disorders like lupus and rheumatoid can also affect other organs in the body with a variety of symptoms.
- Inability to use the hand or walk
- Malaise and a feeling of tiredness
- Weight loss
- Poor sleep
- Muscle aches and pains
- Difficulty moving the joint
It is common in advanced arthritis for significant secondary changes to occur. For example, in someone who has limited their physical activity:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of flexibility
- Decreased aerobic fitness
- These changes can also impact on life and social roles, such as community involvement.