What’s Causing Your Joint Pain?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation in the synovial fluid of the joint. It sets itself apart from other forms of arthritis with some telltale features: a hot or warm feeling in the joint, stiffness for over 30 minutes in the morning, the same joint affected on both sides of the body, polyarthritis (more than one joint affected at a time), and pain that can last through the night.
Osteoarthritis, on the other hand is a degenerative form of arthritis. Also linked to inflammation, this type of arthritis can be traced back to a breakdown in your joint cartilage. It generally affects the hips, knees, spine, hands and feet and develops as more of a wear-and-tear situation, whereas rheumatoid arthritis is closely tied with genetic factors that lead to an autoimmunity problem.
More than 20 million individuals in America with arthritis have severe limitations in function on a daily basis. Consequences include inability to use the hand or walk, malaise and tiredness, weigh less, poor sleep, muscle aches and pains, tenderness and difficulty to move the joint. In advanced arthritis, it can lead to muscle weakness, loss of flexibility and decreased aerobic fitness.