Arthritis means "joint inflammation" and it is a general term for a group of more than one hundred diseases.
The most common type of arthritis, OA occurs when the tissue (cartilage) covering the end of the bones gradually wears away.This happens with age and overuse and can affect any joint in the body.Without the cushioning protection of the cartilage, the friction of the bones rubbing against each other causes pain and swelling.
RA is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body's own defence system mistakenly causes inflammation in the joint lining.This causes damage to the neighbouring cartilage and bone.
Gout occurs when the body cannot properly excrete a natural substance called uric acid.Excess uric acid creates sharp crystals in the joints (especially the big toe, knee, and wrists) that cause inflammation and severe pain.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the skin, joints, and sometimes internal organs.It is a hardening of the skin due to an overproduction of the connective tissues of the body (collagen).Scleroderma can be localized to the skin or become systemic and affect the internal organs.
Because each type of arthritis has different causes and symptoms, treatment will vary accordingly.
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