Inflammation of joints is called as Arthritis. Inflammation, a natural part of the body's response to injury and infection, is a complex process that produces swelling, pain, warmth and redness at the affected joints. Low backache, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Spondyloarthropathies and soft tissue rheumatism are the well known and most important types of arthritis. In India, occurrence of low back pain is alarming; nearly 60 percent of the people in India have significant back pain at some time or the other in their lives. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the second most common rheumatological problem and is most frequent joint disease with prevalence of 22% to 39% in India. This is the most common cause of locomotor disability in the elderly. The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in India is around 0.75%.
Low back pain is a leading cause of disability. It occurs in similar proportions in all cultures, interferes with quality of life and work performance, and is the most common reason for medical consultations. Few cases of back pain are due to specific causes; most cases are non-specific. Acute back pain is the most common presentation and is usually self-limiting, lasting less than three months regardless of treatment. Chronic back pain is a more difficult problem, which often has strong psychological overlay: work dissatisfaction, boredom, and a generous compensation system contribute to it. Among the diagnoses offered for chronic pain is fibromyalgia that does not differ materially from other instances of widespread chronic pain. Although disc protrusions detected on X-ray are often blamed, they rarely are responsible for the pain.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder of multi-factorial etiology characterized by loss of articular cartilage, hypertrophy of bone at the margins, subchondral thickening and range of biochemical and morphological alterations of the synovial membrane and joint capsule. Typical clinical symptoms are pain, particularly after prolonged activity and weight bearing; whereas stiffness is experienced after inactivity. Primary osteoarthritis is mostly related to aging, whereas, secondary osteoarthritis is caused by another disease or condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by persistent joint synovial tissue inflammation. Over time, bone erosion, destruction of cartilage, and complete loss of joint integrity can occur. The etiology of rheumatoid arthritis is not fully understood. Evidence points to a complex interplay between environmental and genetic factors. Patients commonly present with pain and stiffness in multiple joints, although one third of patients initially experience symptoms at just one location or a few scattered sites. In most patients, symptoms emerge over weeks to months, starting with one joint and often accompanied by prodromal symptoms of anorexia, weakness, or fatigue
Gout is the most common inflammatory joint disease in men, characterized by formation of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the synovial fluid of joints and in other tissues. The traditional presentation of gout involves a sudden, abrupt onset of intense joint pain, commonly in the great toe, with associated edema and erythema
To know more on arthritis, click here