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Other Forms of Arthritis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

"This is a form of arthritis in which an inflammatory condition in the joints of the spine creates bony growths, which actually connect up separate joints to one another. Pain in the lower back and legs is often one of the first symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. If untreated, the spine becomes rigid and the unfortunate sufferer is severely restricted in movement. Delayed or inappropriate treatment can make this one of the most crippling forms of arthritis.

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The two most common occurrences of this disorder are in the form of 'housemaid's knee' and bursitis of the shoulder. The pain arises due to inflammation of the bursae, which are specially lined, closed sacs designed to lubricate the areas where muscles rub against joints.

In the case of housemaid's knee it is the prolonged kneeling, which creates pressure on the bursae and results in inflammation.

Where the shoulder is involved, it is the inflammation of the tunnel through which the tendons pass, which causes the problem. This is why, only when the arm is in certain positions, pain is experienced because the bursae are only compressed in the tunnel at certain stages of movement.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This reasonably common form of arthritis, involves inflammation of the lining of the carpal tunnel in the wrist, which due to the lack of space in the tunnel, creates pressure on the tendons and median nerve, which pass through it. This in turn causes paralysis in the fingers and pain in the hands and arms. The condition is more common in women than in men, in particular during pregnancy and at the menopause.

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This is the form of arthritis in which extremely painful inflammatory attacks can occur as a result of the participation of uric acid crystals from the blood. It usually affects the wrists, knees or feet, being most common probably in the joints of the big toe. In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, gout is more commonly found in men than in women. When it does occur in women it is usually in the post-menopausal phase of life.

Traditionally the cause of gout has been linked to high living. This may well be true since the consumption of large rich meals accompanied by plenty of alcohol would stimulate production of uric acid and concurrently inhibit its disposal by the kidney. However, many gout sufferers lead a very moderate lifestyle and suffer the disorder due to some defect in their system, which allows the build-up of the uric acid in the bloodstream to reach a level at which its solubility is exceeded and it therefore crystallizes out. The pain is caused by the physical presence of the acid crystals in the joint lining.

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Infectious Arthritis

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisArthritis can be caused by an infection, either bacterial or viral, such as Lyme disease. When this disease is caused by bacteria, early treatment with antibiotics can ease symptoms and cure the disease.

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Juvenile rheumatoid Arthritis

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThe most common type of arthritis in children, this disease causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the joints. A young person can also have rashes and fever with this disease.

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Lumbago or Fibrositis

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThese terms refer to painful conditions that are technically not arthritis and are used to describe non-specific back or neck pains. In the case of lumbago it is the lower back, which is involved. The conditions can occur in anyone and are sometimes related to heavy lifting, back posture, sleeping with a pillow at a wrong height and so on. The individuals who have these syndromes experience stiffness, pain around the joints, easy fatigability and sleep disturbances. The cause is not known but is probably associated with some degeneration of spinal cartilage.

An unfortunate side effect of the condition is that there is no physical manifestation of the problem and the idea that someone is merely shrinking duties by claiming to have back troubles can be psychologically upsetting to the genuine sufferer.

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Polymyalgia rheumatica & Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThis is a relatively rare condition of older people, usually not occurring before the age of 50. There is stiffness in the muscles of the hips, thighs, shoulders and neck as well as pain particularly in the morning, making movement difficult.

Although the cause is unknown, it is often associated with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), temporal arthritis and cancer.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks itself, killing healthy cells and tissue, rather than doing its job to protect the body from disease and infection. SLE can inflame and damage a person's joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, blood vessels, heart, and brain.

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JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisCausing inflammation and weakness in the muscles, this disease can affect the whole body and cause disability.

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Psoriatic Arthritis

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThis is a form of the disease in which two separate conditions exist simultaneously. The psoriasis is a skin condition in which patches of red, flaky skin appear, most frequently in areas such as the scalp, elbow and knees.

It often coincides with rheumatoid arthritis and opinions differ as to whether the two conditions are actually associated or merely coincidental. There is evidence to suggest that the condition may involve a hereditary factor as well.

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Reactive Arthritis

JuvenileRheumatoid Arthritis

This is a form of arthritis that develops after a person has an infection in the urinary tract, bowel, or other organs. People who have this disease often have eye problems, skin rashes and mouth sores.

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Rheumatic Fever

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThis disease is caused by a particular bacteria called streptococcus, though it does not follow that a streptococcal infection will result in rheumatic fever. The main symptoms of the disease are combined fever and inflamed joints. This is most common among children. Whilst there are lasting effects in some cases, in particular if the heart muscle has been involved, these are quite controllable with medical supervision.

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JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThis condition refers to inflammation of tendons (tough cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone) caused by overuse, injury, or a rheumatic condition. Tendinitis produces pain and tenderness and may restrict movement of nearby joints.

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Tennis elbow

JuvenileRheumatoid ArthritisThis condition is also called 'golfer's elbow' since the effect is the same. It occurs in many people who overuse their arms during athletics, gardening or other activities. The muscles on the opposite side of the joint to each other are involved in the two named conditions. Again, the pain, swelling and restriction of movement are the result of inflammation. These forms of arthritis which can of course be caused by activities other than tennis or golf are basically self- induced due to repeated extension and contraction of the muscles.

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