The changes may be visible, yet for some, the damage can only be seen with an X-ray machine. In some people, arthritis can affect the lungs, eyes, heart and kidneys.
There are several types of arthritis. Inflammatory and degenerative arthritis are the most common types of arthritis.
A healthy immune system produces internal inflammation to eliminate infections and prevent disease. In patient suffering from arthritis, the immune system can go haywire and cause uncontrolled inflammation.
The excess inflammation can damage internal organs and erode joints. A combination of environmental factors and genetics can cause inflammatory arthritis.
Degenerative arthritis occurs when cartilage wears away. Bone presses against bone, and the friction causes painful symptoms.
Joints can weaken and the pain can be debilitating. Previous injuries, family history and excess weight are common risk factors.
A bacterial infection can cause infectious arthritis. Too much uric acid can cause metabolic arthritis.