What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition causes pain and inflammation within the
joints, and, though it can occur at any age, it occurs mostly in
men and women over 40. Arthritis can cause joints to become stiff,
restricting movement, as well as causing swelling and weakening of
the muscles all of which can subsequently cause pain.
The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of
arthritis, which occurs when the cartilage tissue between the bones
in the joint wears away, causing the bones to rub together.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the joints are attacked by your
body's own immune system, which breaks down the bone and cartilage
tissue in the joints.
What does this involve?
Once your arthritis has been diagnosed, your consultant will be
able to administer the correct medicines and/or injections to help
reduce inflammation and other symptoms. Treatment may also involve
medicine aiming to slow down the condition. Treatment in the early
stages can include activity adjustments and appropriate exercises
to help keep the joints mobile and muscles strong and effective. In
severe cases, surgery may be required to treat the affected
What risks should I know about?
Because there are different types of medicines for different
types of arthritis, the side effects of and risks of treatments may
vary, but your consultant should discuss these with you.