Arthritis - Symptoms & Causes

Arthritis isn't a single condition, but an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the joints. These conditions can affect any joint in the body, but commonly target areas like the hands, knees, hips, and spine. While there's no cure for arthritis, various treatment options can help manage symptoms and improve joint function.

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Who’s At Risk of Arthritis?

Some individuals are more likely to develop arthritis than others. Arthritis risk factors include:

  • Old age. 

The risk of arthritis increases with age.

  • Family history of arthritis. 

Some types of arthritis are associated with genetics, meaning they run in the family.

  • Sex. 

Women are at higher risk of developing most types of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Men are more likely to develop gout.

  • Obesity. 

Excess weight puts a lot of pressure on hip and knee joints and can contribute to the onset and progression of arthritis in those joints.

  • Smoking.

 Smokers are more likely to develop or exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Physical inactivity.

 A sedentary lifestyle is linked to the early onset of certain types of arthritis.

  • Joint overuse. 

Occupations, sports, and hobbies that require repetitive or strenuous hip or knee bending can gradually increase the risk of arthritis.

  • Previous joint injury. 

A previously damaged joint is at higher risk of developing arthritis.

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Common Arthritis Symptoms

Symptoms of arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis and the affected joint. But generally, a joint with arthritis exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Pain

  • Stiffness

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Warmth

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Tenderness


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