More Facts About Arthritis

The Greek word 'arthron'; meaning joint and the Latin word 'itis' meaning inflammation, conjoin to form the term arthritis. Arthritis is a serious medical condition which curbs free movement of muscle and the bone (any part of the body), thus disabling a person to engage in daily physical activities (moving about, standing, sitting climbing up stairs etc). Arthritis therefore is regarded as a multi-conceptional affliction; meaning that it covers a variety of associate medical conditions.


To understand what causes arthritis a brief understanding of the anatomical construct is required.

The joints of our body are like hinges. Adjoining units of bones are held together with elastic bands called ligaments. The bones are also capped with cartilage (shock absorber) which prevents friction between the two surfaces. This capsule is filled with synovial fluid which nourishes both the bone and the cartilage.

Now arthritis can be caused due to a number of factors:

  • The cartilage coverings thinning down and causing friction of the bones - Osteoarthritis
  • The synovial fluid drying up which in turn can damage the cartilage and make the bone brittle – Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Certain bacterial/fungal/virus infection affecting the bloodstream – Septic arthritis.
  • Deficiency of autoimmunity
  • Rare cases of Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis in children and Psoriatic arthritis is elders.
  • Combination of several such factors.
  • Symptoms:

    The symptoms of arthritis differ slightly depending upon the causes that are discussed above.

    Osteoarthritis: Symptoms are excruciating joint pain after activities, joint - stiffness due to lack of flexibility, swelling of joints, hard lumps and bone overgrowth.

    Affected areas: hips, hands, knee & spine

    Rheumatoid arthritis: Symptoms are immense swelling of the joint area, acute stiffness and formation of lumps of tissues that can be felt under the skin of the patient.

    Affected areas: arms, fingers, hands, wrists, knee and ankle from where it may spread to smaller joints like elbows, shoulder, neck and even jaw.

    Infectious/septic arthritis: Symptoms are fever, inflammation of area around the joint, acute pain.

    Affected areas: knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger.

    Generally in infectious arthritis only one joint is affected. However this can spread if the case worsens and if the patient is not provided with proper medication.

    Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: This generally affects a child. Irregular fever, loss of appetite, rashes, anemia, sore joints and also swelling are some of the symptoms.

    Affected areas: neck, hips and also other areas

    Psoriatic arthritis: This type is more like a chronic disease which is diagnosed by abnormal skin and joint inflammation.

    Affected areas: tips of elbows, knees, scalp, naval and also around
    genital organs

    Also some common symptoms which are associated with the affliction of arthritis of any type are weakness, fatigue and inability to withstand extensive physical exertions.

     Who is affected?

    Osteoarthritis is very common with people who are in their fourth or fifth decades. Generally osteoarthritis affects women a lot more than the men.

    Rheumatoid arthritis and Septic arthritis can affect any age group. Pregnant mothers with previous arthritis record may pass the chronic illness to the infants.

    In case of Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis the victims are children below the age of 16.
    Psoriatic arthritis on the other hand affects the elderly people whether men/female in their late 40s.


    There is now medication that helps people lessen the pain and carry on with their lives despite discomfort caused by the affliction. If diagnosed in due time, some people, generally the young ones even get cured of this disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs of many types are commonly prescribed to those who contract this disease. Even homeopathy and natural oil massages (olive, rosemary, cypress, chamomile and sassafra) are recommendable alternatives to cure patients the natural way.