Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 conditions that affect the joints of the body and cause pain and discomfort. Although it can occur in almost any area of the body, arthritis most commonly affects the knees, ankles and feet, shoulders, neck, hips, back, and hands and wrists. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.
The other more common types of arthritis are:
Symptoms of arthritis can vary, but often include:
- stiffness or reduced movement of a joint
- swelling in a joint
- redness and warmth in a joint
- general symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss or feeling unwell (e.g. rheumatoid).
It’s important to remember that there are many reasons why your joints may be painful and not all pain is caused by arthritis. You should talk to your doctor if pain and stiffness starts for no reason, lasts for more than a few days and includes swelling, redness and warmth in your joints.
Without treatment arthritis can worsen and cause long-term damage, which is why you should seek medical attention if you are concerned.
Treatments may include activity/exercise, medication, pain management techniques and (in severe cases) surgery.
Resources regarding arthritis: