Arthritis Quiz

Arthritis Guide

Here is a description of the most common forms of arthritis that affect people over age 50.

OsteoarthritisWhat is itWho gets itHow it's diagnosed

A disease that causes a breakdown in cartilage, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. Occurs most often in the spine, knees, hips and fingers.
How it's treated

Exercise, weight control, physical and occupational therapy, patient education, surgery, and medications. Drugs include acetaminophen for pain relief; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2 inhibitors; topical analgesics; and corticosteroid injections into affected joints.

 

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

What is it

Inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and hip areas. May cause systemic symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and slight fever, plus aching in other joints.

Who gets it

Usually people over 50, with an average age at onset of 70. Occurs twice as often in women as men.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, phys

Here is a description of the most common forms of arthritis that affect people over age 50.

 

Osteoarthritis

What is it

A disease that causes a breakdown in cartilage, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. Occurs most often in the spine, knees, hips and fingers.

Who gets it

20 million American men and women. Incidence increases with age, but can affect younger people, often as a result of injury, a congenital defect, or obesity.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, physical exam, and sometimes X rays or joint aspiration.

Tendinitis or Bursitis

What is it

Inflammation or irritation of the tendon (a thick cord that attaches muscle to bone) or the bursa (a small sac located between a bone and muscle, skin, or tendon). Pain is the major symptom.

Who gets it

Often occurs in otherwise healthy people who have injured or overused a joint area.

 

Gout

What is it

A disease in which deposits of uric acid crystals cause sudden, severe pain and inflammation in one joint, usually the big toe, foot, or ankle.

Who gets it

A first attack most often affects men between 40 and 50, although it can occur at any age or, in women, usually after menopause.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, physical exam, and a blood test to measure the amount of uric acid.

How it's treated

lvetica, sans-serif" size="2" color="#FFCCCC">Medications and dietary modifications, including weight loss if obese. Drugs used to treat an acute attack include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, colchicine, and ACTH. Other drugs also may be used to prevent future episodes.

 

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