3. Types Of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a noninflammatory disorder of the moveable joints. Those joints most frequently affected are the hands, hips, knees, lower back, and neck. This disease is characterized by deterioration and abrasion of articular cartilage (that cartilage which covers the ends of the bones forming the joint) and also by formation of new bone at the joint surfaces. Severe disability may result, especially if the conditions have progressed far.
People with osteoarthritis suffer pain in the afflicted area and may feel a grating sensation when they move. Knobs of bone and of hardening bits of cartilage may develop in the joint, causing swelling and deformity.
3.2 Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease. Being systemic, all the organs of the body are affected (as they are in all diseases), but the outstanding feature is the progressive deformity of the involved joints. Usually more than one joint is diseased and it is symmetrical; that is, if one hip is involved, the other usually is also. It usually begins in the small joints of the hands and feet, but it commonly affects the wrists, elbows, ankles, hips, knees, and spine. The synovial membrane becomes inflamed and develops into a mass of swollen and inflamed tissue. It becomes what is known as a pannus and it is thought that this is what eventually destroys the articular cartilage. It also extends to the joint capsule that surrounds the joint and the supporting ligaments and weakens the entire joint. It eventually destroys the articular cartilage, then the bone. In the later stages of the disease, the articular surface is eroded and the joint space is obliterated. In the final stages of rheumatoid arthritis, adhesions of fibrous tissue or bony ankylosis prevent the joint from moving.
Bursae are closed sacs, lined with a cellular membrane resembling synovium. They serve to facilitate motion of tendons and muscles over bony prominences. Inflammation of a bursa, or bursitis may occur in any part of the body where bursae exist (there are approximately 78 bursae on each side of the body), but most frequently occurs in the shoulder. Bursitis does not necessarily always involve a joint but because it often does, it is considered here.
Repeated irritation of certain areas where bursae already exist are contributing factors in what is called “traumatic bursitis.” The predominant cause is toxicosis. “Tennis elbow” is a common example of overuse and stress contributing to this condition. Couple this with enervation from poor living habits and the foundation is laid for the development of bursitis.
Gout sufferers experience repeated flare-ups of painful swelling. The bunion joint, which connects the big toe and the foot, is affected first in most cases. Gout is associated with the presence of too much uric acid in the blood due to improper diet such as meat eating. Sugar and sugar-starch combinations are also contributing factors. Uric acid takes the form of needle-shaped crystals in the joints. These crystals irritate the surrounding areas and cause severe pain.
3.5 Chondromalacia of the Knee
Chondromalacia is a softening of a cartilage. It most often occurs in athletes and is frequently seen in runners and competitive cyclists. It is a softening, fissuring, and degenerative process of the articular surface of the knee cap. It is thought to be due primarily to overuse and stress to the joint. While this is a contributing factor, the predominant cause is toxicosis.
There are many other forms of arthritis, but the above-named ones are those most often experienced by the majority of arthritis sufferers.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Structure And Function Of Joints
- 3. Types Of Arthritis
- 4. Why You Have Arthritis
- 5. Treatments
- 6. Erroneuous Theories
- 7. What To Do If You Have Arthritis
- 8. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Why You Have Arthritis By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Arthritis By Dr. Robert R. Gross
- Article #3: Well! You Wanted to Know! By V. V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C., M.D.
- Article #4: How to Deal With Bursitis by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton