What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is very common, especially in people over the age of 50. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body and is not reversible. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis involves wear and tear damage to the joint cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — causing it to break down. When the cartilage breaks down the result is bone moving on bone which causes pain and restricted movement.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of the joints. The most common signs of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:

Pain icon Joint pain

Tender icon Tender to the touch

Swelling icon Swelling

Stiffness icon Stiffness/loss of movement

Redness icon Redness

Warmth icon Feeling of warmth at the joint

Symptoms of arthritis can be managed by:

  • Using heat or ice over the joint
  • Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications if you can
  • Low impact exercise such as swimming/water aerobics/walking/biking
  • Losing weight