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Arthritis/Joint Pain

"Arthritis" is joint inflammation. Joint inflammation is a symptom / sign and not a specific diagnosis still the term arthritis is used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints.

There are many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis among older people. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage wears away. In some cases leaving bones rub up against each other.


Symptoms range from mild pain to severe joint pain, stiffness, swelling. Usually there is stiffness in morning and  sound and feeling of bone rubbing on bone. It most commonly affects the hands, lower back, neck, knees, hips, and feet. 


Osteoarthritis of the hands seems to run in families. Women are more likely than men to have osteoarthritis in the hands. For most women, it develops after menopause. When osteoarthritis involves the hands, small, bony knobs may appear on the joints of the fingers. 


The knees are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include stiffness, swelling, and pain, which make it hard to walk, climb, and get in and out of chairs and bathtubs. 


The hips are also common sites of osteoarthritis. As with knee osteoarthritis, symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include pain and stiffness of the joint itself. But sometimes pain is felt in the groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or even the knees. 


Osteoarthritis of the spine may show up as stiffness and pain in the neck or lower back. In some cases, arthritis-related changes in the spine can cause pressure on the nerves where they exit the spinal column, resulting in weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms and legs. 


To make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, most doctors use a combination of methods and tests, including a medical history, a physical examination, x-rays, and laboratory tests.

Source: NIH


Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body. RA usually many joints at once. RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain and deformity.

Signs and symptoms

Pain or aching in more than one joint, stiffness in more than one joint, tenderness, swelling, same symptoms on both sides of the body, Fever, Fatigue etc.

Risk factors
  • Age: RA can begin at any age
  • Sex: two to three times higher in women
  • Genetics/inherited traits. 
  • Smoking: Multiple studies show that cigarette smoking increases a person’s risk of developing RA and can make the disease worse.
  • Obesity: Being obese can increase the risk of developing RA. Studies examining the role of obesity also found that the more overweight a person was, the higher his or her risk of developing RA became.

RA is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and doing X-rays and lab tests. It’s best to diagnose RA early—within 6 months of the onset of symptoms—so that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression (for example, damage to joints).  Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA.

Source: CDC