Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects your joints. It is an autoimmune disease that leads to pain and damage throughout your body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the two types are very common osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Arthritis in young adults is not seen commonly. It mostly appears in middle age, but sometimes young adults can get arthritis. As many as 8 in 100,000 people aged 18 to 34 get arthritis. It may be more severe if you get it in your young adulthood.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a long-lasting disease, it develops over a period of time, but in some cases, it grows quickly over a number of days. The symptoms of arthritis in young adults can vary from person to person. In the beginning, it tends to affect your smaller joints first, particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. As it progresses, it can spread to your wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, and shoulders, and so on. The following will be observed by the person:
- Swollen joints
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Lack of energy
- A poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Dry eyes
- Chest pain
- Fatigue and fever
Causes of Arthritis in Young Adults
Cartilage is a connective tissue in your joints which helps your joints to absorb the pressure and shock when you move and put stress on them. A decrease in the normal amount of cartilage results in different forms of arthritis. It happens when your immune system starts attacking healthy body tissue. Your immune system kills viruses, bacteria to fight infection, but if you have got arthritis, your immune system mistakenly sends antibodies to the lining of your joints, where they attack the tissue surrounding the joint.
Treatment of Arthritis in Young Adults
The first thing to do is to reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. Therefore some young adults use heating pads and ice packs to be soothing, but some people use mobility supporting devices such as canes or walkers to reduce the pressure from sore joints. However, in some cases, doctors prefer surgery for treatment. Sometimes physiotherapy can be very helpful for young adults.
If you or any of your loved ones are going through this problem, contact Rheumatology Care of North Houston. You can also call us on 832.532.9779 for more information.