Types of Arthritis - Inflammatory and Non-inflammatory Arthritis

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There are over 100 variation of arthritis, each of them is under umbrella of either inflammatory or non-inflammatory arthritis.

What is Arthritis?

In the word arthritis the ‘itis’ means inflamed, and ‘arthro’ refers to joint. Therefore, ‘Arthritis’ means ‘inflamed joint’. Arthritis not only affects joints, ligaments, other supportive tissues but may attack skin, nails, and internal organ.

Let’s take a look at how our normal and healthy joint system works.

A joint is where two or more bones meet, e.g hip or knee. The bones of a joint are covered with a smooth, elastic material called cartilage. The cartilage acts as cushion between the bones in the joint, which enables the joint to move without pain. The joint is also lined by a thin film tissue called synovium that produces a slippery fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid helps to reduce friction between the bones. Arthritis pain and swelling occur when any area in and around joint becomes inflamed. It may lead to limited mobility which can affect your daily tasks.


Inflammatory Arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis results when, for unknown reasons, the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissue that lines and cushions the joints. As cartilage wears away, the knee often becomes stiff and swollen. In the severe case, it may even cause organ failure. The most common type of this arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis.

75% of rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects women. It can occur in a person of any ages, but it is most commonly found in patients who are between 30 and 60 years of age.

Most common symptoms: pain and swelling


Non-Inflammatory Arthritis

Non-inflammatory arthritis results when the joint's cartilage breaks down. The cartilage that cushions the bones starts to erode, eventually allowing the bones to grind or rub together and causing pain and stiffness. The most common example of this disease is osteoarthritis.

The patients who diagnosed with osteoarthritis are usually over 40 years old.

Most common symptoms: pain and stiffness

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Reference

Types of arthritis, Arthritis types, available from www.zimmer.com (Assessed May 8, 2009)


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