Since our joints are a middle man between our brain’s commands and eloquent fine motor as well as general movements caused by our skeletal muscles acting upon our skeleton, we tend to notice problems with them quickly.
There are many types of joint disorders but for simplicity’s sake it is easiest to divide them into two types Inflammatory Joint Disorders and Non-inflammatory Joint Disorders.
Inflammatory Joint Disorders have inflammation at the root of their dysfunction and Non-inflammatory Joint Disorders have damage or disease of the joint structure as the main problem although inflammation may be present as a result of this not as its cause.
Inflammation of a joint can result in redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. While a joint is inflamed fluid often enters the joint space and may need to be examined in the lab to identify the cause of the inflammation. In some cases inflammation may be severe enough to damage the joint cartilage and bones resulting in loss of function of the joint.
A common type of Inflammatory Joint Disorder is bursitis. The bursa is a sac of connective tissue surrounding a joint that contains lubricating fluid. When it is damaged or contains fragments of cartilage from a damaged joint it becomes inflamed and may be very uncomfortable.
Another frequent Inflammatory Joint Disorder is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Although it has some similarities to infectious joint disease processes there is no clear causative agent for RA. A prevalent theory is that it is an auto-immune disorder that may occur after a viral illness. Currently RA can not be cured but its symptoms can be reduced and the disease process slowed. There are associations between RA and some inherited illnesses such as Sjogren Syndrome, Psoriasis, Ulcerative Colitis, and Cirrhosis.
There are infectious types of arthritis also that can be caused by bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites. These can be transmitted by direct injury to joint, through the bloodstream, and by spread from infected bone adjacent to a joint. Common causes are bacteria like staph and strep, tuberculosis, brucellosis, leprosy. Viral agents like rubella and hepatitis also can cause infectious arthritis. Sexually transmitted diseases whether bacterial or viral can be involved in infectious arthritis as well.
Collagen disorders can be also be associated with inflammatory arthritis. Among these are lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatic fever.
Non-inflammatory Joint Disorders are due to trauma or degeneration. Traumatic injuries to a joint progress from simple sprains to dislocation and fractures involving the joint. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder. This results from aging, traumatic low-load repetitive use, or misuse of a joint under load. Another common degenerative joint disease that affects many people is due to the degeneration of vertebral discs.
So, this is lots of information perhaps most important is how to decide when to seek evaluation and treatment. The following link can give you an idea of when joint disorder with pain needs medical attention. Do not mistake this for medical recommendation or advice about treating joint disorders, that always needs a health care professional’s examination and recommendations.