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Arthritis facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Arthritis is a group of diseases where a person or animal's body joints are damaged. "Arthritis" means inflammation of bone or body joint. Arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can hurt to move with arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that lasts for a long time.

Forms of diseases

There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis. The three most common kinds are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Other kinds of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis and septic arthritis (when an area is invaded by bacteria).

Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage in between two bones breaks down. This condition causes the bones to rub together. This kind of arthritis is more common in elderly people. The most common places for this arthritis are the hips, knees, lower back, and neck. There are medicines that can relieve the pain and prevent disability.

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues. The most common places for this arthritis is in the wrists and the knuckles. It usually starts between the ages of 20 and 40. Children and elderly people can also get this kind of arthritis. There are medicines to slow down the process of this disease. There are also some medicines to relieve pain. It is important to treat this kind of arthritis early.

Gout causes severe pain and swelling. Gout normally affects the big toe. It can also affect heels, ankles, hands, wrists or elbows. Gout is from high levels of uric acid that is in the blood. Gout can cause urate crystals to settle in tissues of joints. Gout creates stone-like shapes. The stone-like shapes build in joints, ligaments and tendons.

Arthritis is more common in older people. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis affect women more often than men.

Animals, including dogs and cats, can also get arthritis.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Artritis para niños

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