Did you know that there are over 100 different forms of arthritis affecting close to 50,000,000 Americans? If you are one of the many that suffer from joint pain, it is important to be aware of the major types of arthritis along with the causes and symptoms. The most common types of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is also referred to as degenerative joint disease and is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 27 million people. This disease causes joint pain, which can limit a person’s ability to move freely by hindering their range of motion. The reason a person’s range of motion becomes limited and painful is because the cartilage and tissue that covers your joints slowly begins to deteriorate. Eventually, your joints can become bone on bone, leaving nothing to protect or cushion your joints when they rub against each other.
Those who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) will have varying symptoms and causes. Symptoms can be so severe that some patients have to give up their daily activities. Major symptoms to be aware of include stiffness (especially in the morning), pain when moving about and joint tenderness.
There are many contributing factors to OA: genes, weight, injury & overuse are just few of the main causes. For example, genetic factors may cause your bones to grow abnormally so your bones don’t align properly. This improper fit can cause cartilage to wear away prematurely and lead to arthritis. Also, being overweight increases the stress to your hip, knee and ankle joints. To illustrate this point, for every pound you gain, your knees gain three pounds of stress. Injuries to your joints can also be caused by wear and tear, especially for athletes who are prone to overuse injuries. The excessive use and injuries combined with the incomplete healing that comes from returning to sport to soon, can cause the joints to start deteriorating sooner. In the orthopedic industry, it is common to see patients who were once athletes and had injured a specific joint 10-20 years prior. These previously injured athletes could simply wake up one morning with serious joint pain from past injuries. This pain could have gone unnoticed for several years while the injured joint had been slowly deteriorating over time.
Most people with arthritis simply want to return to the lifestyle they had before they had joint pain and stiffness. The good news is that there are many treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. Depending on what type of condition you have and how far the arthritis has progressed, you may be a candidate for a simple injection, a brace to offload your joint, a biological graft or even a joint restoration implant such as the Arthrosurface HemiCAP procedure. Arthrosurface is dedicated to helping patients regain their active lifestyles by taking away the pain but leaving all the other functional structures in your joint in place. Find out more about Arthrosurface solutions and how they might be right for you. Make sure to stay tuned for information on other major arthritis diseases in the coming weeks!