The term arthritis can refer to several different diseases, all of which affect the bones and joints. While there are many different forms of arthritis, which include sub-forms, there are three primary types: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Psoriatic Arthritis. But what is the cause of arthritis?
The cause of arthritis depends on which form you are specifically talking about. Osteoarthritis is a disease which can naturally form as a person ages, while RA and Psoriatic Arthritis are chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. This makes a very big difference in cause, as well as symptoms and treatment.
What Is The Cause of Arthritis? – Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is caused by normal wear and tear on the joints as a person ages. Eventually, the cartilage is worn down, which causes the bones to rub together without any cushion between them. This can cause damage to the afflicted bones, and a significant amount of pain. It's important to note, however, that there is no swelling involved in Osteoarthritis, as in the other two forms of arthritis.
In Osteoarthritis, men and woman are equally affected, and it most often develops later in a person's life – sometime after age fifty. Not all people will develop the disease, and it is possible to develop it at any point in life. Birth defects in the joints can contribute to early onset, and certain populations are at a higher risk. These include individuals who work in hard manual labor jobs and people who have injured a specific joint. Osteoarthritis can develop in multiple joints, or in just one joint.
What Is The Cause of Arthritis? – Rheumatoid & Psoriatic Arthritis
RA and Psoriatic Arthritis are chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases. They occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks a part of the body – joint tissues, in particular – as a foreign invader. This causes swelling, pain, and warmth in the joints.
In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the entire body can eventually be affected by the disease. This could lead to problems with nerve tissues, heart, lungs, eyes, kidneys, bone marrow, and other body systems.
Psoriatic Arthritis only affects the skin in addition to the joints. In fact, the skin symptoms are the first to appear, and joint issues can take up to a decade to present.
In both RA and Psoriatic Arthritis affects women more often than men. It is a hereditary disorder, which means it is genetically passed down through families. The exact cause as to why the immune system reacts like this, however, is unknown.