Arthritis is a general term to describe conditions that affect the tissues surrounding the joints. It can be caused by an infection (arthritis) or a normal response to certain kinds of injury. Arthritis occurs in various parts of the body, but more commonly occurs in the joints. Certain types of arthritis are autoimmune diseases, which means that the immune system is attacking its own tissues instead of the disease.
Osteoarthritis occurs mostly in the elderly and is characterized by wear on the cartilage, causing a deformity in the joint. Other names for the disease may have or be called are arthritis of the bone (osteoarthritis), osteoporosis, or pseudo-gout. Pseudo-gout is a painful condition affecting mostly the palms of the hands (pink fingers and palms of the forearms) and the soles of the feet (hallux). The most common symptom of the pseudo-gout is intense, recurrent pain.
Aethesia is a disorder of the muscles and involves a painful swelling in the muscles of the face and neck. Its symptoms can be similar with other musculoskeletal problems like arthritis, but in most cases it is caused by psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints, which can be mild, moderate or severe), not arthritis in general. The symptoms include pain located in the shoulders, arms, hands, legs, lower back and buttocks, fatigue, swelling and redness of the joints. In rarer cases, joint swelling, pain and neurological symptoms like visual illusions may also occur along with the other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of arthritis that affects the larger joints of the body. Its symptoms include extreme pain and stiffness that can affect the ability to move the joints, sensation of tightness around the joints (tight band syndrome), joint deformity and decreased range of motion. Swelling, extreme tenderness and cracking noises in the joints are common with rheumatoid arthritis. Although this arthritis is a systemic disorder, there is an occurrence of localized pain near the joints. Swelling, stiffness and joint deformity can occur at anytime during the course of treatment.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the elderly. Its symptoms are stiffness and pain around the wrist and elbow, and the large joints of the spine (knee, hip and spine). This can also cause deterioration of the joints, making it hard to perform simple activities like tying shoes or walking. The stiffer and painful joints of the hands and wrists are the most affected by osteoarthritis. Other less common osteoarthritis symptoms are numbness on the hands and feet, limited joint movement and difficulty in opening and closing of the hands and wrists.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and infections. It usually occurs in response to an injury or infection and can be chronic or acute. Swelling, redness and pain around joints are a normal part of the progression of inflammation.