Arthritis is becoming one of the most common medical conditions in America today. Arthritis is a condition that functions as inflammation on your skeletal joints, and many people today mistake this is a disease restricted to the elderly. However arthritis is a condition that can effect almost anyone, even children, and is some cases secondary to other medical conditions occurring within the body. There are many misconceptions around arthritis in fact, and clearing the confusion on some of these issues will go a long way towards getting the most effective treatment. What many Americans do not know is that there are different types of arthritis. While most types of arthritis are treated fairly similarly, you still need to know what kind of arthritis you or your loved ones are dealing with before you resume treatment. The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis, and it is this type of arthritis that traditionally effects the elderly. It should be clarified however that this kind of arthritis involves wear and tear, and so anyone that places chronic stress on their joints, regardless of their age, may experience arthritis at some point in their life. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage on the joints begins to wear down, and this triggers a painful inflammation that will affect the entire joint. Those that would be considered risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, increased age, trauma, and work that involves repetitive motions on the joints. Stiffness and joint pain are the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis, and this is often treated with steroid or anti-inflammatory medication, and in some cases physical therapy. Rheumatoid arthritis is another major form of arthritis, but this arthritis starts with the immune system. This is a condition in which the immune system begins to attack specific joint areas in the body, and thus is classified as an autoimmune disorder. Corticosteroid treatment along with anti-inflammatory medication are frequently used to treat the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Common arthritis treatment such as Prednisone may or may not be used with Rheumatoid arthritis, due to its effect on the immune system. Your doctor will want to monitor you and your blood levels if this is the treatment choice you choose for your rheumatoid arthritis. Infectious arthritis is another form of arthritis, but probably the least common type. This is a type of arthritis that also occurs at the joint level, but occurs when infection is found within the joint itself. Anti-inflammatories and/or Prednisone treatment will not often be the first choice of treatment as the infection within the joint must be treated first. If significant joint repair is needed, frequently surgery will be the treatment method for this type of arthritis. When you are looking for treatment for your arthritis type, it is important to discuss with your doctor your primary symptoms and overall health. Prednisone treatment is frequently used to treat the many types of arthritis, but it will have an effect on your immune system. This may mean that you will require treatment for underlying conditions before you can start this treatment, but your doctor will be able to use your medical history to accurately diagnose the type of arthritis you are struggling with. Once you are accurately diagnosed with the right type of arthritis, treatment can be begin, and your quality of life will resume in no time.
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