Are You At Risk For Arthritis?
Arthritis is when your joints become inflamed, which can affect more than one joint at a time. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and there are different ways to treat it. The two most common types of arthritis are Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) and Osteoarthritis(OA).
If you’re experiencing joint pain, you may wonder how this happened. Although arthritis is a condition that is developed overtime, the symptoms can appear all at once, when it’s already too late and the condition is set in. It’s most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can be found in children, teens, and younger adults as well.
Causes of arthritis
Your joints are protected by a thin, flexible layer of cartilage. It reduces shock and helps you move with ease. When this cartilage is worn down, arthritis is developed. The normal wear and tear of this cartilage is what causes OA. Injuries and infections can speed up the development of OA.
RA is actually an autoimmune disorder. This means that your body’s immune system actually attacks the tissues in your body. This affects the synovium, which is a soft tissue in your joints that produces the fluid necessary to lubricate your joints and enhance the cartilage. What’s especially dangerous about RA is that not only the cartilage is at risk for damage, but so is the bone itself.
How to tell if you’re developing arthritis
The smartest thing is to see a doctor about your concerns. If you feel like your mobility is becoming more limited, or are experiencing pain in any of your joints, you may be experiencing arthritis of some kind. Your doctor should be able to do a scan and test the mobility and functionality of your joints. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist to further treat you.
Who is at risk for arthritis?
Anyone is at risk for developing arthritis. However, even if you are developing arthritis, it’s possible you won’t begin to feel symptoms until you’re of retiring age. Your chances of developing arthritis, especially OA, is higher if your family has a history of disease.
Women are more likely than men to develop arthritis. The probability of you developing arthritis are also higher if you’re overweight, as the extra strain on your joints cause them to wear down more quickly. Injuries may make arthritis worse, such as sports injuries. If you’ve been in an accident or been injured, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and have them check your joints for damage.