William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Arthritis facts
- What is arthritis?
- How many types of arthritis exist?
- What causes arthritis?
- What are risk factors for arthritis?
- What are arthritis symptoms and signs?
- Who is affected by arthritis?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose arthritis? Why is a diagnosis important?
- Is there an arthritis diet?
- Are there foods to avoid when you have arthritis?
- What is the treatment for arthritis?
- What are the prognosis (outlook) for arthritis, and what are arthritis complications?
- Is it possible to prevent arthritis?
- What is a rheumatologist, and what specialties of doctors treat arthritis?
- What is the Arthritis Foundation?
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
- Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints.
- Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints.
- Arthritis sufferers include men and women, children and adults.
- A rheumatologist is a medical arthritis expert.
- Earlier and accurate diagnosis can help to prevent irreversible damage and disability.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a joint disorder featuring inflammation. A joint is an area of the body where two different bones meet. A joint functions to move the body parts connected by its bones. Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints.
Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Joint pain is referred to as arthralgia. When four or more joints are involved, the arthritis is referred to as polyarthritis. When two or three joints are involved, it is referred to as oligoarthritis. When only a single joint is involved, it is referred to as monoarthritis.
How many types of arthritis exist?
There are many types of arthritis (over 100 identified, and the number is growing). The types of arthritis range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the many types of arthritis make up the most common chronic illness in the United States.
What causes arthritis?
The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis. Causes include injury (leading to osteoarthritis), metabolic abnormalities (such as gout and pseudogout), hereditary factors, the direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral), and a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity (such as in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus).
Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases. These are conditions that are different individual illnesses, with differing features, treatments, complications, and prognoses. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and many have the potential to affect other internal body areas.
What are risk factors for arthritis?
The major risk factors for most forms of arthritis are genes that are inherited from ancestors. Trauma-related arthritis is related to the risk of injury from specific activities.
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