The primary symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, redness, swelling and a decreased range of motion in the affected joints, explains Mayo Clinic. Risk factors depend on the specific type of arthritis and include increasing age, gender, previous joint injury, obesity and a family history of the disease.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, according to Mayo Clinic. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear of the joint cartilage over a period of many years, and the damage can be accelerated by injury and joint infection. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system. Immune cells attack the lining of the joint capsule and cause swelling and inflammation of the joint. This process leads to the destruction of cartilage and of the bone in the joint. Infections, uric acid crystals, lupus and psoriasis can cause other types of arthritis.
The treatment of arthritis includes medications, physical therapy and surgery, explains Mayo Clinic. Medications are used to relieve joint pain and improve joint mobility. They include analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, counterirritants, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and corticosteroids. Biologics are genetically engineered drugs that are used in combination with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications and include etanercept and infliximab. Surgery is reserved for patients who do not find relief with conservative arthritis management and includes joint replacement and joint fusion.