Arthritis & Inflammation Clinic

Arthritis Pain Relief Clinic

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Currently there are about 37 million Americans who live with some form of this illness. Arthritis is a disease that impacts the lives of millions of people in one form or another, and if you're one of these sufferers, there's a lot you should know about your disease.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (rue-ma-TOYD arth-write-tis) is a systemic disease that affects the entire body and is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is characterized by the inflammation of the membrane lining the joint, which causes pain, stiffness, warmth, redness and swelling. The inflamed joint lining, the synovium, can invade and damage bone and cartilage. Inflammatory cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage. The involved joint can lose its shape and alignment, resulting in pain and loss of movement. RA typically affects many different joints. It can be chronic, which means it lasts a long time, and can be a disease of flares (active) and remissions (little to no activity). Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts at least 2 million Americans. It can occur at any age, but it commonly strikes people in their mid-twenties and is more prevalent in women. This form of arthritis is believed to be caused by a problem in the body's immune system. It may cause inflammation in joints and can lead to cartilage, bone loss, and even deformity.

Who is at Risk?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.1 million Americans, mostly women
  • Onset is usually in middle-age, but often occurs in the 20s and 30s
  • 1.5 million women have rheumatoid arthritis compared to 600,000 men

Although rheumatoid arthritis is often difficult to diagnose and treat, there are things you can do to help reduce the pain. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, or suspect you have this condition, you should consult a physician.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-THRY-tis) (OA), or degenerative joint disease, is one of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of bones. Cartilage breakdown causes bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.

Most commonly affecting middle-aged and older people, OA can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.

Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-THRY-tis) (OA)

Cause of Osteoarthritis?

There are many factors that can cause OA. Although age is a risk factor, research has shown that OA is not an inevitable part of aging. Obesity may lead to osteoarthritis of the knees. In addition, people with joint injuries due to sports, work-related activity or accidents may be at increased risk of developing OA.

Genetics has a role in the development of OA, particularly in the hands. Some people may be born with defective cartilage or with slight defects in the way that joints fit together. As a person ages, these defects may cause early cartilage breakdown in the joint. In the process of cartilage breakdown, there may be some inflammation, with enzymes released and more cartilage damage.

Who is at Risk?

  • Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 20.7 million Americans, mostly after age 45
  • Women are more commonly affected than men

Other Information

  • OA is responsible for more than 7 million physician visits per year
  • Eighty percent of people with OA report some form of limitation in movement or activities
  • Knee OA can be as disabling as any cardiovascular disease except stroke
  • As many as half the people who have OA do not know what type of arthritis they have and cannot make informed decisions about their care because treatment options vary among the more that 100 forms of arthritis
  • Musculoskeletal conditions such as OA cost the U.S. economy nearly $65 billion per year in direct expenses and lost wages and production

Where does Osteoarthritis Occur?

Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint, but most frequently it develops in the wrists, fingers, and joints that carry more weight, such as the knees, hips, and spine. Often the condition appears in just one or two joints and doesn't spread to other parts of the body. But joints are not the only structures affected by osteoarthritis. Commonly, muscles close to the affected joints become weak due to inactivity and cause people to suffer problems with strength and coordination.

Osteoarthritis Occur

Does Osteoarthritis feel the same for everyone?

Generally, the symptoms of osteoarthritis begin slowly with one or two joints feeling sore when they move. Many people complain that the pain increases with colder weather or early in the morning before the body has had a chance to warm up. Others find the discomfort worse at the end of the day, and some people experience constant pain. Often the pain occurs when you're moving, or following periods of activity, and occasionally the joint will even swell up. The symptoms of this disease vary from person to person, so it's important that you speak to your doctor if the pain continues for more than 2 weeks.

Doctors commonly recommend Apeaz, a topical analgesic, as a way to relieve minor arthritis pain. For years Apeaz® has provided fast relief of the pain associated with arthritis with its unique heating action. This deep-penetrating heat soothes aches and helps encourage flexibility and movement.

Inflammation Clinic

Inflammation Clinic

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a defense reaction caused by tissue damage or injury, characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain. The primary objective of inflammation is to localize and eradicate the irritant and repair the surrounding tissue. For the survival of the human body, inflammation is a necessary and beneficial process. Unfortunately, inflammation can get out of control to cause major short and long-term physical problems.

Is it estimated that every person will have an inflammation of one form or another during his life. Once inflammation is out of control, you should seek help from a physician.

Cause of Inflammation

Inflammation is a general term of tissue damage that is caused from a multitude of sources. The three major categories that cause inflammation are:

  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Host defense reactions to injury or infection

Clinically the signs of inflammation are:

  • Redness caused by vasodilatation (brought about by immune responses including complement activation, and release of inflammatory mediators)
  • Heat caused by vasodilatation
  • Pain caused by physical or chemical nerve irritation
  • Swelling caused by oedema
  • Loss of function caused by any of the above