Arthritis is a general term used to describe inflammation of the joints. It affects all joints, but most commonly occurs in the hands, feet, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders.
The exact cause of arthritis is unknown, but there are many risk factors that may increase your chance of developing it. These include age, family history, obesity, smoking, certain medications, and genetics.
The term comes from the Greek word “arthron” which means “articulation” and from the Greek word “pathos” which means “suffering”.
The different forms of arthritis
A joint is a place where two bones touch. The main form of joint disease is arthritis, which is joint inflammation.
There are different forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is another example of an immune disorder in which the body’s defense system attacks its tissues, causing inflammation in the bone joints. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that is aggravated by physical stress (eg, aging and wear and tear).
It is a form of crystal deposition within the joint, causing symptoms such as joint pain. These crystals are:
- sodium urate crystals responsible for gout;
- calcium crystals.
In diabetic arthropathy, joint disease is caused by the effects of diabetes mellitus. When someone has diabetes mellitus, the body is unable to use insulin effectively, which quickly takes glucose from the blood into cells for energy and into fat and liver cells for storage.
Enteropathic arthropathy is a joint disease caused by colitis and related conditions. Colitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the colon, which is a part of the large intestine.
Jaccoud’s arthropathy is a pathology characterized by a deviation of the second to fifth finger with metacarpophalangeal joint subluxation.
This subluxation and deviation at the metacarpophalangeal joint level can be corrected or reduced by physical manipulation.
Facet arthropathy is a degenerative arthritis that affects the facet joints of the spine. Arthritis in the facet joints can develop from:
• Wear that reduces the space between the vertebrae causing the facet joints to rub together
• A back injury
• Torn ligaments
• Disc problems
Because stress impact from these circumstances affects the facet joints, bone spurs may develop and cartilage may deteriorate.
Besides injury, facet arthropathy is a condition of aging. Its main cause is spinal degeneration which usually occurs later in life.
Pain is the primary symptom associated with facet arthropathy. The pain is usually worse in the afternoon and evening and upon waking in the morning.
Low back pain is the most common complaint, but it usually does not radiate down the legs or buttocks unless spinal stenosis is also involved.
Charcot’s arthropathy is a progressive condition of the musculoskeletal system that is characterized by joint dislocations, pathological fractures, and debilitating symptoms.
Syphilis was considered the most common cause of Charcot’s arthropathy until 1936, when Jordan linked it to diabetes. Diabetes is now considered the most common etiology of Charcot’s arthropathy.
Charcot’s arthropathy causes progressive destruction of bone and soft tissue in the weight-bearing joints; in its most severe form, it can cause significant disruption of bone architecture.
Charcot arthropathy can occur at any joint; however, it most commonly occurs in the lower extremity, in the foot and ankle