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What is Arthritis

Arthritic disorders of one kind or another have always plagued mankind and animals. Many people suffer from the aches and pains of damaged or inflamed joints. Some are just uncomfortable and some become crippled as a result of the disease that has been recognized since prehistoric times but understood in only the past few decades. Any part of your body can become inflamed or painful from arthritis.

Arthritis refers to the painful inflammation of a joint. In some forms of arthritis, inflammation brings with it swelling, pain and redness. Some forms of the disease are the result of normal wear and tear on the body structure where as, other forms have no connection with these natural processes. There are some forms, which are of a constant and lasting nature whilst some, such as bursitis, housemaid's knee and tennis elbow, may be of transient nature.

The first thing to get out of the way is the myth that there is such thing as a single disease called 'arthritis'. The truth is that the word arthritis is about as useful and specific as the word 'infection' and just as there are over hundred different types of infection, there are over a hundred different types of arthritis.

Because arthritis takes many forms, some with devastating effects on one's future health, careful diagnosis, as soon as symptoms are noticed, is important. Early detection and prompt treatment can help relieve pain and prevent later complications. Arthritis affects individuals in different ways. Treatments that work for one person with one type of arthritis may not work for another person with another type. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment can have potentially harmful effects as it causes the self-medicator to postpone more appropriate, individualized treatment.

Read more about major forms of arthritis

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