Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is the area where two bones meet. There are over 100 different types of arthritis.

Causes

Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Normal cartilage protects a joint and allows it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when you walk. Without the normal amount of cartilage, the bones rub together. This causes, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.

Joint inflammation may result from:

• An autoimmune disease (the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue)

• Broken bone

• General “wear and tear” on joints

• Infection, usually by bacteria or virus

In most cases, the joint inflammation goes away after the cause goes away or is treated. Sometimes it does not. When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Arthritis may occur in men or women. Osteoarthritis is the most common type.

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DateNovember 4, 2014
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