Arthritis refers to the inflammation and pain of joints. Any joint of the body occurring at any part, can be affected by arthritis. It is a really annoying condition of the body if the joints are in pain. A joint between two bones is mostly meant to provide flexibility, mobility and elasticity to that bone junction.
However, joint also occurs in between two bones that are immovable such as those in the skull. The types of joints that are affected by arthritis include mostly the knee joint, wrist joint, shoulder joint, finger joints and the elbow joint. Vertebral joints can also be included in this category.
Arthritis is considered to be a form of joint disorder. There are many types of arthritis which include rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, osteoarthritis, septic arthritis and gout. Arthritis refers to the inflammation of more than one joint in the body as it can be seen in several cases of the mentioned bone diseases. In these bone disorders, many of the movable joints of the body become inflamed and painful.
Causes of Joint Arthritis
Arthritis is the type of joint disorder which is characterized by the inflammation of joints that can be due to any cause. However, joint pain can also occur due to some underlying disease such as psoriasis, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and so on. Some forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid and lupus arthritis are also likely to affect other organs of the body. Arthritis is a joint disorder that is accompanied by pain which is known as arthralgia. Some of the common causes of joint arthritis are mentioned as under.
Degeneration of Cartilage
The wear and tear condition and the degeneration of joint cartilage, is referred as osteoarthritis. Due to degeneration of cartilage, the affected bone becomes stiff, tender and immovable.
Arthritis can also develop if there is a mechanical injury or external stress or pressure to the particular joint. Due to a fracture, the broken ends of the bone may enter the cartilage and harm it.
Or it may be that the mechanical stress directly affects the cartilage causing its wear and tear and thus, results in arthritis.
Arthritis may also be caused due to autoimmune reactions of the body. In this type of disorder, antibodies are produced against the body’s own tissues which destroy mainly the cartilages and hence, cause arthritis. An example of such cause is the rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is actually a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder. Apart from the cartilage tissues, this autoimmune disease also attacks body organs such as lungs, skin and kidneys.
Another cause of arthritis could be the presence of an underlying disease known as gout. Gout is caused due to excessive levels of uric acid in the blood which tend to accumulate in the form of crystals around the joints. The joint to be affected mostly is the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe.
The causes of arthritis may also be of the infectious type. When the synovial fluid and other tissues of the synovial joints are invaded by bacteria, there develops an infection and results in infectious arthritis or septic arthritis.