Definitions and Etiology

Over a hundred types of arthritis are currently recognized. Among the degenerative arthritides, OA is the most common form, and the prototype of this group. In OA there is inflammation within the joint, but there is no evidence of whole-body inflammation, a key feature in distinguishing OA from the inflammatory arthritides. In general, OA affects a few joints, usually the large weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, such as the knees and hips. Osteoarthritis can also affect the hands, especially in women, but without the systemic illness that characterizes inflammatory diseases such as RA. The etiology of OA is unknown, but the primary pathological problem is degradation of the cartilage leading to loss of joint space and bony overgrowth, causing pain first with weight-bearing, then with passive motion, and finally at rest.

In contrast, in an inflammatory arthritis such as RA there is a systemic illness with inflammation of many joints, usually the small joints of the hands, wrists and feet, often spreading to include the knees and hips. There is evidence of a systemic immune response, with activation of clones of autoreactive T cells and increased production of many cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1^, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a, IL-6, and others. There is also activation of the acute-phase response, with reduced albumin synthesis and increased production of fibrinogen, C reactive protein, and other acute-phase reactants. The systemic inflammation leads to altered energy and protein metabolism and wasting of body cell mass and muscle mass, described as 'rheumatoid cachexia.'

Arthritis Relief and Prevention

Arthritis Relief and Prevention

This report may be oh so welcome especially if theres no doctor in the house Take Charge of Your Arthritis Now in less than 5-Minutes the time it takes to make an appointment with your healthcare provider Could you use some help understanding arthritis Maybe a little gentle, bedside manner in your battle for joint pain relief would be great Well, even if you are not sure if arthritis is the issue with you or your friend or loved one.

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