Alternate Names : Joint Inflammation
Arthritis refers to inflammation of a joint. The inflammation may cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.
What is going on in the body?
The joint inflammation of arthritis can occur for many reasons. Often
the lining of the joint, the synovium, becomes inflamed. It reacts by making
extra synovial fluid. This causes the joint to become swollen. The smooth white surface of
the joint, the hyaline cartilage, can become thin, worn, and rough. Any joint
in the body can be affected by some form of arthritis.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
There are many types of arthritis, with a host of
different causes, such as:
ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the spine and other joints
arthritis caused by mechanical problems, such as a bone fracture or dislocation
gout, which is caused
by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint
infectious arthritis, which is caused by an infection such as Lyme disease or a gonococcal infection
degenerative process that is also called wear-and-tear arthritis
pseudogout, which is
caused by an accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joint
psoriatic arthritis, which develops in some people who have a chronic skin condition known as psoriasis
reactive arthritis, which may develop after an infection of the urinary tract, bowel, or other organs
rheumatoid arthritis, an
autoimmune disorder in which the body makes antibodies to its own tissues
Some of the risk factors for arthritis are as follows:
aging changes in the bones and
bodywide infections that affect the joints
genetic or hereditary tendency to arthritis
immunodeficiency disorders, such as HIV
injury to the joints
increases a woman's risk for osteoarthritis
overweight or obesity
woman's risk for rheumatoid