Types of Arthritis [video]

Video author: Streaming Well
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Video Transcript
Paul Stillman: When we mention arthritis, for most of the time we are referring to osteoarthritis. And that's fair enough, because after all, it is the most common form. But in fact there are over 200 different kinds of arthritis. And so in this segment we're going to look at what actually causes arthritis and what it feels like inside the body of somebody who suffers from arthritis. I'm Paul Stillman, and this is Streaming Well.

I don't know what causes arthritis. No idea. I can't answer that except that it unfortunately happens. I don't really know. It's something to do with the bones, isn't it? I'm sorry, the cold, injuries, stuff like that. Bad weather does not cause arthritis, but it can certainly make the symptoms feel a lot worse. When cold, damp weather are on their way, that's when you're more likely to have aches and pains in your joints if you have osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is mainly due to wear and tear of the joints. The bone ends rubbing together. Some kinds of arthritis are due to inflammation in and around the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is a typical example of this. There is also ankylosis spondylitis, which is a kind of inflammatory arthritis. Then there are chemical kinds of arthritis like gout, which is due to crystals inside the joint space. Of all the kinds of arthritis you can get, and there are about 200, the most common is osteoarthritis or osteoarthrosis.

This is a model of a knee joint. It's a model of a right knee joint, and these bits here are cartilage. What happens in osteoarthritis is that these get worn away, so instead of having this lovely cartilage which normally cushions the joint, they wear away, and you get bone rubbing a long bone every time that you use the knee joint. You can get osteoarthritis in almost every joint in the body. A lot of people, especially women, get it in the small joints in their hands. But you can also get it in the knees, in the hips, in any another joint. And it doesn't have to be symmetrical. You can get it for instance in one hip rather than the other. The other hip can be absolutely fine.

So any of us who live long enough are quite likely to suffer from arthritis, but if you do think that you are developing some part of problem in the joints, particularly pain and stiffness, then discuss this with your doctor. After all, there are over 200 different sorts of arthritis, and only when you and your doctor have arrived at the correct diagnosis, can you then be sure to move on to appropriate treatment. Thanks for watching.