What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a painful disease caused by joint damage.
Joints connect your bones, allowing your body to move and bend. When there's damage to the cartilage surrounding a joint, everyday movements can be painful.
Types of arthritis
There are different types of arthritis.
The most common types are:
- Autoimmune arthritis
- Juvenile arthritis
A broad range of things can cause each type, but joint pain and stiffness are the main symptoms of all types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis causes and risk factors
Osteoarthritis — the most common type — is what most people think of when they think of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between your joints breaks down due to wear and tear from:
- Being overweight
In some cases, osteoarthritis can be genetic. This means you have a higher risk of getting osteoarthritis if it runs in your family.
Autoimmune arthritis causes and risk factors
An autoimmune disorder causes this type of arthritis — also known as rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune disorders occur when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, often in the joints.
Autoimmune arthritis is more common in women than in men. Symptoms vary from day to day.
Treatment for autoimmune arthritis — most often medication — can cause the disease to go into remission, becoming inactive or lowerng the amount of inflammation.
Juvenile arthritis causes and risk factors
Juvenile arthritis refers to any autoimmune or inflammatory condition that may develop in a person 16 years old or younger.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common arthritic condition among this age group. A child 16 or younger who has swelling in one or more joints for six weeks or longer may have JIA.
There are no known causes of juvenile arthritis, although some think it may be an inherited disease.
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