What is Arthritis?Arthritis is derived from the Greek words arthron, which means joint, and itis, which means inflammation. Thus, arthritis is an inflammatory joint condition resulting in pain and restricted movement and function. It is a condition that affects the spine and joints with breakdown and wear, as well as affecting the muscles with inflammation and soreness. The result is pain, swelling and reduced mobility.
In Australia, more than 4 million people suffer from arthritis. It is estimated that over 350 million people suffer worldwide. It is a condition that does not discriminate. Men, women and children of all races can develop the many forms of arthritis. It can affect any joint of the body, from the feet to the knees, the spine, shoulders and hands, and in certain forms of arthritis, the heart, lungs or other vital organs can be affected as well. The symptoms range from mild aches and stiffness to crippling, chronic pain and an inability to move, making arthritis not only epidemic but devastating for many people in its impact on their health and quality of life.
The study of arthritis reveals an interesting fact: arthritis incorporates over 100 health issues, from joint stiffness and swelling to blood chemistry changes and tissue breakdown. While the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (bony degeneration and wear), arthritis presents in many forms, including rheumatoid arthritis (an auto-immune condition where the body attacks itself and breaks down the body), gout (a build-up of acid that inflames the body) and ankylosing spondylitis (progressive fusion of the ligaments of the spine).
Any part of the body that is inflamed can become arthritic and arthritis itself can produce many symptoms outside joint pain and restricted movement. Unchecked, arthritis can result in damage to organs of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and skin.
Dr Marcus Chacos, Chiropractor
Founder, the Natural Treatment of Arthritis Institute
Author of The Arthritis Solution