What is Arthritis

Arthritis is the swelling and pain of the joints due by inflammation. The term “arthritis” broadly covers a range of conditions of the joint, each with their own symptoms and causes.


There are over 100 types of arthritis, some more understood than others.

Some of the most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)


The specific symptoms will depend on the type of arthritis, as well as severity.

But common symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Pain or tenderness of the joint
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion

Any joints can be affected, and some types of arthritis tend to affect certain areas of the body more than others.


Different types of arthritis will have different causes.

In the case of the two most common types of arthritis:


This type of arthritis occurs due to wear-and-tear to the cartilage of the joints. Cartilage cushions the end of the bones, removing frictions to help movement. This wear-and-tear come from injury, or just aging.

Rheumatoid arthritis

RA involves the body’s own immune system attacking the lining of the join capsule, causing it to become swollen and inflamed.

Risk Factors

Risk factors depend on the type of arthritis, but common arthritis risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Sex
  • Previous injury
  • Family history


Treatments differ on the person, type of arthritis they suffer from, and severity of the arthritis. Treatments can range from medication to relieve pain, medications to control inflammation, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

In more severe cases, a combination of treatments may be necessary.

When to See a Medical Doctor

If you suffer from arthritis symptoms, have a family history of arthritis, or any of the other risk factors, speak to a doctor.

They can diagnose the type of arthritis, and the treatment options that will be most effective to you. In some cases, early treatment may help slow the progression of the arthritis.