Arthritis is a group of diseases that affect the joints. Some types of arthritis can affect connective tissues and even organs such as the skin. It is usually characterized by inflammation and swelling of the joints. Although it can happen at any age, arthritis usually comes with age. Like in the rest of the United States, arthritis in Des Plaines, IL, is quite common. Indeed, about 20 percent of adults are affected by arthritis. Although it cannot be completely cured, it is wise for patients to seek the assistance of a specialist to manage the symptoms so that they can get back to their day-to-day activities. Below is a discussion of the essential things you should know about arthritis.
Types of Arthritis
There are two major types of arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage at the end of the bones wear out, causing bones to slide on each other. This leads to pain in the hips, knees, and even fingers. It usually occurs as people age, but other factors such as athletic injuries can bring it on earlier.
On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks body tissues. As a result, joints’ surfaces can get damaged. The condition usually affects fingers, shoulders, feet, ankles, wrists, and elbows. It is generally characterized by stiffness, pain, swelling, and troubled movement.
Causes of Arthritis
Arthritis occurs in many different forms, and therefore, it is hard to establish its cause. As such, the actual cause of arthritis is still unknown. The following are some common risk factors associated with arthritis:
As people age, their joints get worn out, and therefore the possibility of getting arthritis is quite high among seniors.
Most types of arthritis, except gouts, are more likely to affect women than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with certain genes, and therefore, if there are close members of your family with this type of arthritis, then there is a chance that you could also get it.
Injuries can damage joints and lead to some forms of arthritis.
Being overweight means that you are forcing your joints to bear some extra pressure, and this can damage them and lead to arthritis.
Some viruses, fungi, and even bacteria can attack the joints and lead to chronic joint inflammation
If your work involves spending a lot of time on your knees, then you may be at risk of getting osteoarthritis.
When to See a Doctor
Occasional joint or muscle pain does not mean that you have arthritis. You should seek the assistance of a doctor if:
- The pain, redness, or swelling is persistent
- Symptoms are worsening quickly
- You have close relatives with arthritis
- You have close relatives diagnosed with autoimmune disorders
Overall, it is apparent that arthritis is quite a common problem, and it can cause patients significant discomfort and pain. When it affects the knees, ankles, and feet, it can substantially hinder a patient’s movement. Therefore, if you are suffering from arthritis, it is imperative for you to seek the assistance of a foot and ankle specialist. If you are looking for a reliable foot and ankle specialist in Des Plaines, IL, Alex Yanovskiy, DPM of Illinois Foot and Ankle Clinic in the answer. Contact the facility today for more information about the doctor.