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Understanding How Cold Weather Can Worsen Arthritis Symptoms
Date:1/12/2014

hritis sufferers in a many different ways.

How it Starts

In a healthy body, a membrane called the Synovium surrounds the joints and provides important cushioning. This membrane works to produce a small amount of thick fluid called Synovial Fluid that nourishes the cartilage, keeping movement fluid. The Synovium has a strong outer layer called the Capsule, which keeps the bones from moving too much. Whereas, ligaments are thick, strong bands usually just outside the Capsule located on both sides help to keep bones firmly in place. And finally, tendons, also located on both sides, attach muscles to bones. Their job is to hold the joint in place and help to move it.

Symptoms of arthritis are known to manifest in many ways, and it can be difficult to diagnose. It can come on slowly with only mild symptoms, or symptoms may appear suddenly, causing intense pain that escalates within just a few hours. Arthritis symptoms can also appear only occasionally over a long period of time. It might cause joint pain, swelling and stiffness, but it can also cause seemingly unrelated health problems like fatigue or a rash. In fact, early signs of arthritis are often mistaken for an injury or the result of over activity.

Common Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage associated with risk factors such as weight (obesity), having a history of joint injury, and age. It affects nearly 27 million Americans, most over the age of 45.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a systemic disease characterized by the inflammation of the membrane lining the joint causing pain, stiffness, a sensation of warmth, swelling and sometimes severe joint damage. It can also cause inflammation all over the body, affecting vital organs such as the lungs. In the U.S., an estimated 1.5 million people have RA and for some reason, there are 2.5 times as many women as men with the disease
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