Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling and tenderness in one or more joints. It is characterized by joint pain and stiffness, which tend to worsen with age. While the exact cause of arthritis is unknown, experts have identified certain risk factors that may lead to its development. These include genetics, unhealthy body weight, joint injuries or overuse, and smoking.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear damage to the cartilage of a joint, the hard, slippery layer found at the ends of the bones where they form a joint. This wear and tear can occur over many years or be accelerated due to injury or infection in the joint. Osteoarthritis usually develops after age 50 or 60, but studies reveal radiographic evidence that it can occur in women in their 40s.
It also tends to be more common in people who are overweight. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body's immune system attacking its own tissues. Gout is caused by the buildup of crystals in the joints. Some forms of arthritis may be related to genes, such as ankylosing spondylitis which is associated with the genetic marker HLA-B27.For some other forms of arthritis, the cause is unknown.
Most types of arthritis are more common in women, such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and fibromyalgia. Gout is more common in men. Experts don't know exactly why women are at greater risk of developing most types of arthritis or why men are at greater risk of developing gout.Corticosteroid injections can actually worsen knee arthrosis, so hyaluronic acid injections may be a safer option. Normal wear and tear causes arthrosis, one of the most common forms of arthritis.
An infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this natural degradation of cartilage tissue.