An inflammation of joints in the body, a process of degeneration or probably one of the signs of ageing, arthritis is an umbrella term given to a group of more than 100 different conditions. Ranging right from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA) and pseudogout to psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, arthritis affects the body in a series of ways, in different levels of intensity and causing discomfort and disability of varying degrees.
By definition, arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and loss of movement of the joints in the human body. The term arthritis gets its meaning from the Greek terms, ‘arthron’, meaning joint and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation.
When arthritis surfaces in the body, it actually makes its defense mechanism faulty. The logic for the development of arthritis lies in the fact that inflammation is the body’s form of natural response to an injury or infection, as it develops as a result of an impact on the body. Arthritis affects the body in such a way that this natural defense system begins attacking the body itself instead of fighting infection and repairing the system. Once this inflammatory process sets in, it continues to attack the body and cause damage, until adequate measures are taken to stop the destruction.
The medical definition notwithstanding, arthritis remains as the leading cause of disability in the elderly population