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Everything You Need to Know about Arthritis

A woman holding her wrist

Arthritis is a painful and often debilitating condition affecting millions worldwide. It can cause stiffness, swelling, and joint pain in the hands, feet, hips, knees, and other areas of the body. Arthritis can be caused by genetics or lifestyle factors such as obesity or injury. While treatments are available to help manage arthritis symptoms, it's important to understand what causes it so you can take steps to prevent or reduce its severity. This article will discuss what arthritis is, its causes and warning signs, how professionals can help if you experience it, and whether cracked knuckles could lead to developing arthritis.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory joint disorder that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. It’s caused by damage to the cartilage—the tissue that cushions and protects bones—and degeneration of other tissues around the joints. This damage can result from wear and tear or an injury or infection over time. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is usually seen in older adults, while RA affects people of all ages, including children. Other forms include gout, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

Symptoms may vary depending on which type you have but typically include joint pain or stiffness upon waking up; swelling around one or more joints; tenderness when pressure is applied to a joint; difficulty moving a joint through its full range of motion; redness around a joint; warmth around a joint; fatigue; feverish feeling sometimes accompanied by chills and headaches.

What Are The Main Causes of Arthritis?

The exact causes of arthritis are still unknown, but several factors can increase the risk. These include age, gender, obesity, genetics, and lifestyle. Age is a major factor in developing arthritis; as you get older, your joints become more worn down due to natural wear and tear over time. Women are also more likely than men to develop certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. Obesity has been linked to osteoarthritis since it increases the stress on the joints and surrounding tissues leading to further damage.

Genetics may also play a role; some people have genetic markers that make them more prone to developing certain types of arthritis. Finally, lifestyle choices can influence whether you develop this condition: smoking cigarettes or engaging in strenuous activities like running or contact sports can put extra strain on your joints and lead to higher rates of joint deterioration.

Can Arthritis Cause Numbness?

Yes, arthritis can cause numbness in the areas where it is present. This is because of nerve compression associated with inflammation and swelling caused by the condition. In some cases, the inflammation can pressure the nearby nerves, leading to a loss of sensation or feeling. This loss of sensation is known as nerve entrapment or paresthesia. Depending on the type of arthritis, this numbness could occur in various body parts such as fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, and legs. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis may experience paresthesia more often due to its more aggressive nature. Osteoarthritis usually just affects one joint at a time and therefore doesn’t produce as much nerve entrapment leading to numbness as quickly as rheumatoid arthritis.

Nerve entrapment and other neurological issues associated with arthritis can also cause muscle weakness in the affected areas. The weakened muscles and stiff joints may make it difficult for people to perform everyday tasks like walking or carrying items due to a lack of strength or control over their limbs. Numbness in certain areas may lead to falls or accidents if people are unaware that their limbs are not responding correctly due to reduced sensation. It’s important for people who have noticed numbness in any area of their body related to their arthritis symptoms to report it immediately to receive proper treatment from a healthcare professional.

Seeking Professional Treatment for Arthritis

At Amazing Spine Care we understand that no two people seeking pain relief for arthritis are the same. This is why we work with you by offering many different treatment plans. Curious to see how we can help you? Give us a call today!