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Causes of Arthritis - Some Surprising Facts about This Debilitating Illness

Updated on May 19, 2012

What are the causes of arthritis? To a certain extent, this question is almost impossible to answer, since the term "arthritis" actually covers more than a hundred different diseases. Alternatively, one could say there are more than one hundred different types of arthritis. Some forms of the disease are very rare, while other forms are notoriously common, such as osteoarthritis for example, which is extremely prevalent amongst people over the age of fifty five.

Osteoarthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage elasticity. When the cartilage in one or more of your joints begins to lose its elasticity, it becomes stiff and brittle, and as a result, it soon becomes damaged and begins to wear away. This in turn puts additional strain on the connective tissues, muscles, and ligaments. The more these muscles and ligaments are stretched, the more severe the pain will be. In advanced stages of the disease, the actual bones will rub against each other, and the resultant pain will be unimaginable, thereby rendering the sufferer at least partially disabled.

The second most common form of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is essentially caused by the body attacking the protective membranes found in all joints. Under normal circumstances, these membranes help to preserve our joints. Unfortunately, it is quite common for one's body to start attacking these membranes, which in turn causes swelling and pain. If the condition is left untreated, it almost always results in deformities. Interestingly enough, women are far more likely to get the disease than what men are. It is also noticeably more prevalent in industrialized countries, where it routinely strikes people (mostly women) between the ages of 40 and 60.

Most other types of arthritis are quite rare by comparison to the two mentioned above, so not really worth discussing here. Instead, let's take a brief look at treatments, and what can be done to minimize pain and discomfort.

There are several drugs routinely being prescribed for arthritis sufferers, and of course the type of drug a person is given will depend on what type of arthritis they have; the severity of their condition, their age, and etc.

Just as there are several prescription drugs available, so too are there countless natural remedies. Some of these have well and truly proved to be helpful, while many are nothing but a complete waste of money. Health experts all tend to be in agreement concerning the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so arthritis sufferers may want to consider taking a good quality fish oil supplement.

There has been significant progress made during the past decade as far as natural treatments are concerned, and while it would be misleading to say such remedies can offer a 100% cure for arthritis, it can safely be said that some natural remedies are able to reduce pain and discomfort dramatically. Remember, there are several causes of arthritis, and each of them needs to be addressed.

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