Arthritis is a rheumatic disorder caused by inflammation of the joints, and is frequently accompanied by pain. It is the main cause of disability among people over fifty-five years of age.
Arthritis can be caused by cartilage wear in the joints, a lack of fluid, autoimmunity (your body attacking itself), infection, or a combination of many factors. There are over 100 types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage becomes damaged and the tendons and ligaments become stretched. In its advanced stages the bones may rub against each other causing very severe pain. Other common forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis (septic arthritic) and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Medications – most commonly NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Support devices, such as splints, canes, walkers, and braces
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