Arthritis is a disease that affects millions of people every year. However, there are many misconceptions about arthritis. For instance, arthritis is only a disease for the elderly; well, in fact, 2/3 of the arthritic population are under the age of 65, and 300,000 of them are adolescents. Others think that arthritis is not a serious disease. On the contrary, some types of arthritis are not only crippling but it can severely limit your daily activities. Below are some of the more common types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is much more than just wear and tear on your joints overtime. OA can be broken down into multiple subtypes including congenital OA and Post Traumatic OA. In recent studies, researchers have found evidence that links OA with specific genetic markers. These genetic markers are signs that you may be predisposed to developing OA later in life. The research linked to these genetic markers could lead to an OA test one day in the future. Also, post-traumatic OA can occur years after an injury. Say, for example, as a high school athlete you sprained your ankles many times in practice/games. Then, 20 years later, you develop OA. This would be Post Traumatic OA, because even though the injuries happened years ago, they are still the cause of the osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune response by the body. This is when your immune system, which usually attacks foreign viruses or bacteria, identifies your healthy good cells as bad cells. This results in damage to your cartilage, synovial membrane, and bone. RA usually targets the extremities, especially feet and ankles.
Juvenile Arthritis (JA) is a type of arthritis that begins before the age of 16. Early symptoms include painful swelling in one or more joints. These swelling bouts can last for about 6 weeks at a time. Try not to confuse your child’s symptoms with the common cold or the flu, which can be similar. Look out for the symptoms, such as pain, swelling, stiffness and fevers rotating in odd intervals.
Again, arthritis of all kinds can be a serious condition, limiting your regular daily activities. The feet and ankles are often the victims of arthritis. Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you have to learn to live with the pain, there are treatments that can be used to slow down the progression and help decrease the pain. If you would like to discuss arthritis more don’t hesitate; come into our office Frederick Foot & Ankle. We would be more than happy to schedule an appointment and discuss options, at any of our 3 offices in Frederick, MD or Urbana, MD.
By Brenna Steinberg