The skeleton of our body has been provided with special joints or working surfaces where the bones come together. Flexible joints consist of special tissues such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons and capsule or covering for the joint. All these help to bind the bones together. But for real flexibility there must be sufficient lubricant to keep the joint movable and free from pain.
As a rule inflammation occurs most frequently in joints that are used a great deal, such as the fingers, knees, shoulders and spine. Most joint surfaces are smooth and hard, enabling them to carry heavy pressure when in use. The capsule protects the joint from injury and helps to hold the articulating bones in place.
Healthy cartilage is very elastic, able to recoil after any blow or pressure upon its surface. But when this useful substance degenerates there may be a rough grating sound when the joint is moved. Stiffness and pain may follow, particularly in the morning or after a period of rest. The joint may also begin to swell, as excess synovial fluid is poured out to help relieve the pain and heal the tender inflamed joint. All near by tissues, such as tendons, fascia, and muscles may also be involved.
The word arthritis means inflammation of the joints, but in early stages the whole body is usually involved. One or two joints may become completely deformed leaving the patient handicapped and somewhat weakened.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious disease that involves the joints but also the muscles, tendons, and other tissues of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis begins mildly with some swelling, pain and tenderness in the joints of the fingers, wrists, knees and feet. In this disease the joints on each side of the body are often involved at the same time. The joints feel unusually warm, and may appear red, and perhaps even contain some fluid.Osteoarthritis is a chronic form of arthritis that may involve any joint but is more likely to occur in hardworking joints as the knees or fingers. The other causes of joint pain are: Joint injury, infections like viral infections, bacterial infections etc., joint strains, autoimmune diseases, and nervous system disorder.
Common symptoms of rheumatism are fever, immense pain & stiffness in affected muscles in case of chronic muscular rheumatism. Pain or tenderness in a joint which is aggravated by any movement or activity, such as walking, getting up from a chair, writing, typing, holding an object, throwing a ball, turning a key. Excruciating pain and stiffness in the joints in case of chronic articular rheumatism.
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