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Our bodies have a variety of joints, each designed to have a certain amount of flexibility and absorb a certain amount of shock. Cartilage, a tough but flexible tissue that connects bones together, plays a vital role in allowing these joints to work smoothly.
One of the most prevalent, chronic health problems is inflammation and damage to joint cartilage and its surrounding structures. Known as arthritis, this category of illnesses create stiffness, pain, instability and weakness. It can also create deformities in physical appearance, such as fingers that wonít straighten.
Arthritis is sometimes accepted as the aches and pains of aging. This is an incorrect assumption. First of all, the disease can begin at any age. Secondly, not every senior suffers with arthritis. Finally, for those with arthritis, there are options for easing its pain and slowing joint damage.
here are more than 100 conditions that fit under the umbrella term of arthritis. Two very common types that affect seniors are:
Itís easy to see that they belong in the category, along with bursitis and tendonitis. Logic tells you that tennis elbow and carpel tunnel syndrome also belong in the group. Lyme disease and lupus may not be as well known for the arthritic ties.
Did you know that gout is a form of arthritis? This disease creates, then deposits, needle-shaped crystals of uric acid into joints. Not surprisingly, the result is severe pain. Gout commonly affects the big toe first and often affects only one joint at a time.
Some forms of arthritis go beyond pain in a single joint. Some even go beyond joints and become "systemic", affecting a body organ or system.