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ARTHRITIS AND ARTHROSIS

ARTHRITIS AND ARTHROSIS

Arthritis and arthrosis are two of the most spread rheumatic diseases characterized by pain and stiffness.

Sometimes they are confused, but they are  different, arthritis is a chronic auto immune inflammatory disease that can appear at any age, even in children and arthrosis is a degenerative disease that starts to show  after 50 years old.

ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory  systemic disease (concerning the whole body) attacking  the joints which become painful, swollen and can deform over the years. It can also concern other organs like the lungs, the eye, skin and blood vessels.

The most spread forms are:

Rheumatoid arthritis:  a consequence of  the immune system attacking the joints

Arthritis gottosa: due to an increase of uric acid in the blood, forming  crystals in the joints, mostly in  the foot, it can be very aggressive.

Spondyloarthritis: it’s a kind of arthritis concerning the spine and the pelvis.

Usually both sides of the body are symmetrically concerned, mostly the hand and foot joints. It frequently affects the small joints and if not treated or not responding to treatments, it  can lead to bone erosion and deformity. Pain is not caused  by movement and persists at night.  A typical characteristic of the disease  is morning  stiffness when  waking up, that improves  after  moving. In the most advanced phases of the disease the physical  limitation is due to tendon and ligaments lesions. Pain  is usually combined with swelling, heat and redness, typical signs of inflammation.

ARTHROSIS

Arthrosis is a degenerative disease of the articular cartilage due to overuse and aging of the joints, usually concerning the spine and the knee. It occurs between 60 and 80 years old and is caused by the degradation of the cartilage covering the bone surface inside the joints (the function of cartilage is to reduce friction and  when it gets  damaged because of overuse, it loses elasticity and becomes stiffer and easily damageable).

In addition to cartilage degeneration, tendons and ligaments of the joints get damaged as well, causing pain due to inflammation.

The most common symptoms related to arthrosis are pain, stiffness and physical limitation.

The pain is mostly felt after physical exercise or when carrying loads impacting the joint. Usually pain is more intense in the evening and is relieved with rest.

There is no pain at night. In the mild forms of arthritis there is no stiffness, it only appears  in moderate or serious forms ( always temporarily and never for more  than 30 minutes) As soon as the disease advances, pain increases as a consequence,  but usually there is no swelling.