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             “What are the common types of Arthritis and their causes?”

 There is no single cause for arthritis. The causes and symptoms differ depending on the type of arthritis:


OA is sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. It is described as a disease of
the synovial joints characterized by progressive deterioration and loss of the articular cartilage with
structural and functional changes in the entire joint. This includes the synovium (the connective tissue
within the joint capsule), meniscus (within the knee) and subchondral bone (the layer of bone that sits just
below the level of cartilage). OA is generally accepted to be an inflammatory and biomechanical disease
influenced by a number of factors. The most important OA risk factors are age, gender,
overweight/obesity, joint trauma/sports injuries, some occupations that place repetitive stress on a
particular joint and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory joint disease with a worldwide prevalence of 5 per
1000 adults. This particular variation of arthritis affects women 2-3 times more often than men and can
occur at any age. RA involves chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane which can affect the
articular cartilage (cartilage on either end of the bone), mediate signs and symptoms of the disease include
pain, swelling and degeneration of cartilage and bone. Progression of joint damage is intrinsically
associated with joint swelling. Clinically RA is a symmetric disease that involves multiple joints
bilaterally (i.e. both wrists). A patient with RA generally presents with pain and swelling of the joints in
both hands and feet and swelling initially can be in the wrists. Joint stiffness in the morning is very
common, often lasting between 30 minutes and several hours. RA differs from the above OA in respect to
the swelling as RA swelling tends to be “soft” in contrast to the “hard” bony swelling of OA. The cause of
RA is yet unknown. However, genetic and environmental factors both contribute to RA.
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