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What are some facts about arthritis?

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Factors such as old age, genetics, injuries, infections or being overweight contribute to over 100 different types of arthritis, explains WebMD. The two most common kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, notes WebMD. Arthritis affects the body’s joints, such as the fingers, wrists, knees or hips, or other connective tissues including the skin. Some symptoms of arthritis include swollen or stiff joints, tenderness, impaired mobility or problems performing everyday tasks.

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With osteoarthritis, the cartilage wears away causing the bones to rub together. Most commonly, this causes pain in the fingers, knees and hips. Typically cartilage deteriorates over time as an individual ages, however injury or fractures near joints can also cause osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, occurs when the body attacks its own connective tissue. RA commonly affects the hands, feet, shoulders, elbows and knees; and, its symptoms can include fatigue, fever, lung or eye inflammation and nodules beneath the skin.

One painful type of arthritis is gout, which causes needle-like crystals to form in joints, notes WebMD. A swollen, red and warm-feeling joint can be an indication of gout, which typically starts in the big toe. Gout can also form on other joints, such as the feet, knees, ankles, hands and elbows.

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