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What is Arthritis and Do You Have It?
Find Out If You Do and What Kind, So You Can Address It Effectively

You start to question when you feel pain in a joint. Now you wonder, is it in the joint cartilage, and what is cartilage anyway, and does that mean you have inflammation of the cartilage, and isn't that what arthritis is, and you didn't think you had a high arthritis risk but now you're not so sure.

OK. Let's define arthritis first. Simply put, the word arthritis comes from the Greek word 'arthrum' which means joint. Add 'itis' at the end and you've got 'arthritis'. In other words, 'arthritis' means 'inflammation of a joint' - the two are interchangeable.

Now that we have a working arthritis definition, let's focus on what kind, because that gives you some ideas about how to deal with it.

There are two main types of arthritis - infectious arthritis, also called rheumatoid arthritis, and non-infectious. Let's look at each one.

Infectious Arthritis: This refers inflammation of a joint caused by any one or more infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or spirochetes. Some of the more common ones are: gonococcal, pneumococcal, tubercular, staph, strep (which is the infectious agent in rheumatic fever) and in more recent years, Lymes, a spirochete.

This type brings up another question, "Is arthritis infectious?" The answer is no, not technically, because arthritis only means inflammation of the joint. However, the infectious agent may be transmittable, as it is in the case of gonorrhea, strep, staph or tuberculosis.

Knowing that your joint cartilage is being gobbled up or worn away by some such bug, you are armed with the knowledge you need to choose a strategy that invites those bugs to live elsewhere, and when they do, you can move to the second phase of your strategy, which involves repairing the damage.

Non-Infectious Arthritis:  This refers to all the other causes of joint inflammation. For example 'traumatic arthritis' is the result of sudden or repeated stress on the joint, as in tennis elbow, while 'post-traumatic arthritis' is the result of an injury such as a bump or blow. 'Septic arthritis' is joint inflammation that results from toxicity of some kind - perhaps a food intolerance (wheat, potatoes, strawberries, heavy metals or pesticides, for example).

Last, there are three types of joint tissue that can become inflamed from any of the above. One type is the bone itself, and this is called 'osteoarthritis'. The second is the joint cartilage itself. To answer what cartilage is, think of the gristle in a piece of meat - that's cartilage. It's a type of very dense, firm and compact connective tissue that's capable of withstanding considerable pressure or tension. Third, the synovial membrane over the joint, and the fluid it contains which lubricates the joint can also become inflamed.

No matter which type of joint tissue becomes inflamed, the condition is still referred to as 'arthritis' because some part of the joint is inflamed.

The bottom line is that the word 'arthritis' refers to a symptom and not a cause.  To address the symptom means finding and effectively addressing the cause.

Pamela Levin is a Registered Nurse and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst with 500+ hours' post graduate training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kinesiology. She has been in private practice 41 years.

Pamela Levin, R.N.
December 1, 2011

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Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst who has been in private practice offering health improvement services for 40 years.

She has over 500 post-graduate hours of training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kineseology.

She has published many professional journal and lay audience articles and has an international reputation in the fields of emotional development, emotional intelligence and Transactional Analysis.

For her work in these areas, she was awarded the prestigious Eric Berne Award by members of the International Transactional Analysis Association in 72 countries.

She has lectured and trained both lay and professional audiences all over the world.

Her work is continues to be used  throughout North and South America, The UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

She has personally researched the key emotional nutrients™ she makes available through this site.

They have consistently been demonstrated to be the core nutrients people need to feed all the six parts of their emotional selves. 

People from all cultures and languages in all parts of the world have used them since she first made them public in 1974 to feed their emotional selves, move from surviving to thriving, release limiting beliefs, improve parenting skills and more.