The below article is from the National Institute of Aging Archives
Half of all people age 65 and older have arthritis. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis and many different symptoms and treatments. We do not know what causes most forms of arthritis. Some forms are better understood than others.
Arthritis causes pain and loss of movement. It can affect joints in any part of the body. Arthritis is usually chronic, meaning it can occur over a long period of time. The more serious forms can cause swelling, warmth, redness, and pain. The three most common kinds of arthritis in older people are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Common Forms of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA), at one time called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis in older people. Symptoms can range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to severe joint pain and even disability.
OA usually affects the hands and the large weight-bearing joints of the body: the knees and hips. Early in the disease, pain occurs after activity and rest brings relief; later on, pain occurs with very little movement, even during rest.
Scientists think that several factors may cause OA in different joints. OA in the hands or hips may run in families. OA in the knees is linked with being overweight. Injuries or overuse may cause OA in joints such as knees, hips, or hands.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be one of the more disabling forms of arthritis. Signs of RA often include morning stiffness, swelling in three or more joints, swelling of the same joints on both sides of the body (both hands, for example), and bumps (or nodules) under the skin most commonly found near the elbow. RA can occur at any age and affects women about three times more often than men.
Scientists don’t know what causes RA but think it has something to do with a breakdown in the immune system, the body’s defense against disease. It is also likely that people who get RA have certain inherited traits (genes) that cause a disturbance in the immune system.
Gout occurs most often in older men. It affects the toes, ankles, elbows, wrists, and hands. An acute attack of gout is very painful. Swelling may cause the skin to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender. Medicines can stop gout attacks, as well as prevent further attacks and damage to the joints.
Reminder: Moderately vigorous exercise is a natural way to boost your pituitary's output of HGH Human Growth Hormone. Please check with your physician for exercises OK for your arthritis; HGHcompany HGH often helps with arthritis.
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