1. What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in one or more joints of the body, causing stiffness and pain. The disease worsens with age.
2. What are the causes of arthritis?
Possible causes of arthritis include:
• Changes in metabolism (as occurs in gout)
• Injuries and infections of the bone
• Dysfunction of the immune system, [as occurs in rheumatoid arthritis and SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)]
• Genetic factors (causing osteoarthritis)
• Physically demanding occupations
3. Does arthritis worsen with age?
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis worsens with age. The cushioning surface on the ends of bones is lost which causes stiffness, swelling and pain. Over time, the pain becomes severe, and the joints might lose strength.
4. What are the early signs of arthritis?
The early signs of arthritis depend on the type of arthritis. Common signs of arthritis are redness, pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints, and reduced range of motion of the joints.
5. How can one prevent arthritis?
Arthritis cannot be prevented. However, the risks of the condition can be reduced by:
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Performing 30 minutes of physical activity every day
• Controlling blood sugar levels
• Protecting the joints from injuries by wearing protective gears while playing sports
• Using the strongest and largest joints for lifting and carrying objects.