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Types of ArthritisOsteoarthritis
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It affects many of us as we grow older. It is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it involves the breakdown of cartilage and bones. This causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis usually affects the fingers and weight-bearing joints, including the knees, feet, hips and back. It affects both men and women, and usually occurs after age 45. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold, joint protection, pacing your efforts, self-help skills and sometimes surgery.
Fibromyalgia affects muscles and their attachments to bone. It results in widespread pain and tender points, which are certain places on the body that are more sensitive to pain. It also may result in fatigue, disturbed sleep, stiffness and sometimes psychological distress. Fibromyalgia affects mostly women. It is common and often misdiagnosed. Treatments include exercise, relaxation techniques, pacing your activities and self-help skills.
In rheumatoid arthritis, a fault in the body's defense or immune system causes inflammation or swelling. Inflammation begins in the joint lining and then damages both cartilage and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows can be affected. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women than in men. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying drugs, exercise, heat or cold, saving energy, joint protection, self-help skills and sometimes surgery.
Gout results when the body is unable to get rid of a natural substance called uric acid. The uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joint that cause severe pain and swelling. Gout usually affects the big toe, knees and wrists. More men than women have gout. Treatments include anti-inflammatory and special gout drugs, and sometimes a diet low in purines. Foods such as organ meats, beer, wine and certain types of fish contain high levels of purines.
Low back pain
Low back pain results from a back injury or certain types of arthritis. Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the United States. It can occur at any age in both men and women. Treatments include pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, heat or cold, joint protection, pacing your activities and self-help skills.
Bursitis and tendinitis
Bursitis and tendinitis result from irritation caused by injuring or overusing a joint. Bursitis affects a small sac that helps muscles move easily; tendinitis affects the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, heat or cold and exercise.
There are many more types of arthritis and related diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus erythematosus.
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