Arthritis meaning have a touch of arthritis in the wrist. Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition.
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Arthritis is not a single disease, but a group of over 100 diseases that cause pain and limit movement. 16, characterized by swelling, tenderness, and pain, involving one joint or several joints and lasting more than six weeks. This form of arthritis strikes during the most productive years of adulthood, with onset in the majority of cases between the ages of 20 and 40. No age is spared, however, and the disease may affect infants as well as the very old. The disease affects men and women about equally in number, but three times as many women as men develop symptoms severe enough to require medical attention. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown and it is doubtful that there is one specific cause. There also is the possibility that rheumatoid arthritis is a genetic disorder in which one inherits a predisposition to the disease.
In about 75 per cent of patients the onset of rheumatoid arthritis is gradual, with only mild symptoms at the beginning. Early symptoms include malaise, fever, weight loss, and morning stiffness of the joints. One or more joints may become swollen, painful, and inflamed. Some patients may experience only mild episodes of acute symptoms with lengthy remissions. The more typical patient, however, experiences increasingly severe and frequent attacks with subsequent joint damage and deformity. The pattern of remissions and exacerbations continues throughout the course of the disease. In addition to the joint changes there is atrophy of muscles, bones, and skin adjacent to the affected joint.