There are many possible causes of arthritis.
Arthritis is the result of damage to one or more of your joints and there are many ways to damage your joints. An injury or simply living an active life can lead to arthritis.
When your metabolism allows uric acid to accumulate you may develop gout or gouty arthritis. Infection can cause septic arthritis. When your immune system is not working correctly you may develop autoimmune arthritis.
Probably the most common cause of joint damage is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. This is the wear and tear kind of arthritis that everyone gets if they live long enough.
Osteoarthritis is the end result of the million minor injuries we suffer as we go through life. We are all paying the price now, for the things we did 30 years ago.
Major or Minor Trauma
Major trauma can fracture bones and damage your joints leading to arthritis. Anytime a joint is fractured the joint surfaces are never as smooth as they were before the injury.
Contact sports can contribute
to degenerative joint disease.
Image thanks to Fabienkhan, via Wikimedia Commons
Joint cartilage has a very poor blood supply. This makes it very slow to heal and very difficult for your body to fight off infections of the joint.
A joint can become infected spontaneously if bacteria in your blood finds its way into the joint. Your joint may also become infected if any foreign object penetrates the joint. This may occur with stepping on a nail, using knives or other sharp instruments, or from an injection by your doctor.
Gout and Pseudogout
Certain conditions can cause high levels of certain chemicals to accumulate in your joint fluid. When these chemical such as uric acid or calcium pyrophosphate reach a high enough concentration they can for crystals.
These crystals have needle-like points that can get trapped between the joint surfaces and damage the cartilage causing an inflammatory reaction and pain.
Autoimmune diseases are characterized by a reaction of your bodies immune system that damages your own tissues. There are many different autoimmune diseases that can damage your joints.
The most well known is probably Rheumatoid Arthritis. Other forms of autoimmune arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, lupus arthritis, reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
These can all cause arthritis due to various types of joint damage with the associated inflammation and pain.
The definition of arthritis is "joint inflammation" and many causes of arthritis. Some are a simple as living an active life and others are as complex as an immune system that is not working properly.
Learning to Manage Your Arthritis
Understanding the many different causes of arthritis can help you find the right treatments for the kind of arthritis that is causing your joint pain and stiffness.
Finding the right treatment and avoiding further damage can often, at least make you more comfortable.
Finding low impact exercises that avoid making the joint damage worse is often recommended. The most joint friendly exercises are pool exercises and cycling.
Pool Exercises and Cycling
Aerobic exercises in a swimming pool are more comfortable because the bouyancy of the water takes weight off of your spine and large joints.
Cycling is a low impact exercise that improves your cardiovascular fitness and stimulates the release of endorphins. When done on a stationary recumbent bicycle, it is safe for your hips and knees and comfortable for your back.
Maybe these can also help: