Rheumatism is a term used by physicians as a general category of all diseases that cause pain and disability affecting the joints and their supporting structures. The term arthritis is used for conditions arising from involvement of the joints and their immediate surrounding structures. It is commonly used as a general term to describe rheumatic diseases which essentially attack the joints. Therefore we hear that "he/she has some form of arthritis"
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the body, and that can profoundly affect an individual's ability to function at normal level. The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can be traced to inflammation caused by the body's normal response to infections, injury, wounds, or foreign objects in the body. There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Here is a quick overview on the five most common forms of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis: Also known as "degenerative joint disease is by far the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops as a result of the continual wear and tear experienced by the cartilage that surrounds our joints. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can range from very mild to severe. In general, men experience the brunt of their symptoms in the knees and hips while women tend to suffer more in their fingers.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This condition is different from most other types of arthritis conditions in that it is a disease of the autoimmune system. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the vital organs in more advanced cases. Women are at a greater risk for developing this form of arthritis.
Seronegative Arthritis: These are a class of arthritis disorders that manifest symptoms similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis. Seronegative arthritis disorders tend to be related to skin disorders. These may include psoriasis, disorders of the immune system, and intestinal disorders.
Gout: This is a form of arthritis cause by the overproduction of uric acid in the body. The uric acid creates small crystals that may be felt beneath the surface of the skin. Gout affects about half a million people in the United States, and it is much more common among men. Gout usually affects one joint of the time, and it commonly strikes in the big toe.
Infective arthritis: This form of arthritis occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream and infects the joints. Infective arthritis is usually the result of a wound or injury that becomes infected. Illness may also cause it, including the mumps and chicken pox.