Arthritis is a common condition that affects the joints and tissues in the body. It can be caused by injury, infection, or overuse. The pain from arthritis can interfere with daily activities such as walking upstairs or holding objects for an extended period. This article will explore how arthritis affects different parts of the body.
Overview, Causes, Symptoms
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain, stiffness, and joint damage due to the body's immune system attacking cartilage in various joints. The inflammation can cause increased redness of the skin around the affected area or swelling and bone erosion, and a reduced ability for one part of the body to move smoothly.
Muscle aches, morning stiffness, fatigue, and a reduced ability to handle changes in temperature causing increased discomfort.
There are three types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis (degenerative), Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory), and Gouty arthritis (infectious). One cause of arthritis is genetics which means you're more likely to get this condition if you have a family history of it.
Another reason people may develop arthritis is trauma, like when we injure ourselves while playing sports or doing housework. These injuries can lead to chronic joint inflammation and tissue damage.
What Parts of the Body can Arthritis Affect?
Arthritis can affect our joints and tissues in the body. Arthritis symptoms most commonly impact joints such as fingers, knees, hips, and shoulders, but it can also affect other areas like tendons in hands or feet, resulting in cramping muscles when trying to perform daily tasks.
Effects of Arthritis on the Body
Arthritis has many effects on the body and often starts with joint pain, leading to inflammation. The most common symptoms are stiffness in joints due to overuse or injury.
Joints may also become difficult to move due to swelling from arthritis infection or complications such as spurs that form at the ends of bones where they meet other bones. As arthritis progresses, cartilage erodes, causing bone edges to rub against each other without protection, leading to further tissue damage and eventual skeletal deformity if left untreated for a long time. Specific effects of arthritis on the body include:
Arthritis in hands: This condition causes ligaments around joints like wrists and fingers to tighten up, limiting movement because certain movements often aggravate parthritis[c8] pain. Arthritis in your fingers may make it difficult to perform tasks such as typing or turning door locks.
Arthritis in knees: arthritis around your knee joint may cause stiffness and pain during activities like kneeling or running around.
Arthritis in hips: arthritis in the pelvic area may cause pain when sitting for long periods and stiffness or weakness.
Arthritis in shoulders: arthritis in your shoulder joint may cause stiffness, pain, and limited movement.
The overall effect of Arthritis on the body would be straining and difficulty performing day-to-day movements like walking up a flight of stairs.
How Does Arthritis Affect More Than Joints?
The following is an overview of how arthritis impacts various parts of the human body:
Arthritis can cause inflammation in the spine and joints of the neck leading to muscle spasms, difficulty sleeping due to chronic pain, or even sleep paralysis because arthritis interferes with getting a good night’s sleep.
The cartilage that protects your spinal discs wears away over time from arthritis, causing back stiffness, making it difficult for some people with arthritis to bend down at waist height without experiencing an increase in joint discomfort.
Arthritis may also affect tendons, leading to cramping muscles, so using a cane would be necessary during activities such as walking upstairs or holding objects for long periods.
Arthritis is a condition that may affect many parts of the body, but most often, it affects joints. It can also affect tendons and other tissues in the body. It is a debilitating condition that can affect people of all ages. If you think you may have any of the previously mentioned symptoms, consult your physician. The good news is there are many ways to manage or avoid its effects on your life by eating healthy foods, often exercising, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep at night.