Arthritis Basics

What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis?

OA is principally a disease of the joints. As a consequence, its symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. The pain associated with OA usually has an insidious onset, is generally described as aching or throbbing, and may result from changes that have occurred over the last 15 to 20 years. It is […]

Is Osteoarthritis An Inherited Disease?

Specialists in arthritic disease are often asked if OA is an inherited disease. People with OA are concerned about the possibility of their siblings developing the same problem or about their chances of “passing” the disease to their children. Studies of large populations of patients have demonstrated that OA does, indeed, have a major genetic […]

What Is The Prognosis For Osteoarthritis?

In a worst-case scenario, a joint affected by OA can become stiff and painful. These symptoms result from the loss of the smooth, gliding surface that undamaged cartilage provides. As the disease progresses, the cartilage in a joint becomes thin and ragged, and more stiffness and a “catching” sensation may occur. These problems may cause […]

What Are The Risk Factors For Osteoarthritis?

The cause of OA is elusive in most cases. Nevertheless, physicians have noticed that certain groups have a higher rate of OA than others. You may find that you belong to one or more of these groups. Age Greater Than 45 Years Although OA risk increases with increasing age, not all people older than age […]

Can Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

In the early part of the twentieth century, many people believed that RA was caused by dental infections. Infections of the teeth and gums were thought to spread to the joints, causing inflammation and other symptoms of RA. For example, researchers made correlations between increases in the rate of diagnosis of RA and increases in […]

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Caused By Cigarette Smoking?

The results of several large studies conducted in the past two decades support the association between cigarette smoking and the development of RA. In one study, researchers in Finland studied 512 patients with RA. They found that men who smoked in the past but had stopped smoking were 2? times more likely to develop RA […]

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis A Genetic Disease?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is affected by genes, but this disease is not controlled by a single gene. As a result, RA generally does not run in families. Instead, scientists believe that RA develops as a result of a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. Each person is born with a unique genetic code and has […]

Will I Become Disabled And Unable To Work?

It is impossible to predict the course of RA for a particular person, so it is equally difficult to tell if someone with RA will become disabled. However, the pattern of disease can influence the risk of disability. For 10% of patients, RA symptoms disappear completely on their own. If disease remission occurs, it usually […]

Will I Lose The Ability To Walk?

Untreated RA can cause severe damage to the hips, knees, and feet. However, with current treatments, RA shouldn’t progress to the point that you cannot walk. You and your doctor can work together to limit any joint damage and maintain your mobility. Inability to walk owing to severe RA may involve factors other than RA. […]

What Is The Course Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis may begin at any age, but the most common age range during which onset begins is the twenties to fifties. Morning stiffness is a hallmark symptom of RA. People with RA often report having a half hour or more of stiffness in the morning. The same symptoms frequently occur after short periods of […]

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Despite years of research and study, the precise cause of RA is not known. Physicians have determined that the pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with this disease result from a disorder in the body’s immune system. For unexplained reasons, the body’s immune system—in the form of white blood cells and antibodies—attacks the joints and other […]

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Serious?

Yes, RA is a serious disease. While some people suffer only mild discomfort and minimal disability, medical studies have demonstrated that one third of patients are unable to work five years after they are diagnosed. At ten years, more than half of all people with RA are unable to work. Daily joint pain is an […]

What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

More than 200 types of Arthritis have been identified. One way that physicians distinguish one type of arthritis from another is by its characteristic location, physical findings, laboratory tests, and x-rays. Early on in the disease, making a diagnosis of RA can be difficult for your physician because your symptoms may change over time. The […]

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The ancient Greeks were aware that joint and muscle aches were sometimes associated with colds. The word rheuma in Greek means “flow” or “discharge,” where this “flow” refers to the watery discharge from the eyes and nose during a cold. The word Arthritis is also derived from the Greek—specifically, from arthron (or arthr-), meaning “joint,” […]