Mission StatementDisclaimerAffiliatesContact Us



ArthritisThere are over 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. If you know someone who is suffering from stiffness or pain in joints, the cause may well be arthritis which means inflammation of the joints. For most people arthritis pain cannot be avoided as the body ages and generally, people over the age of 60 show some signs of arthritis. Joints naturally degenerate in flexibility and efficiency over time. Family history, obesity and joint injury can also increase the risk of arthritis affliction.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. The main symptoms are pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. The joint may develop restricted movement, and there may be some tenderness in the area. In some cases the joint may also crack or creak. The pain is usually more painful in joints that bear weight such as the spine, hip, knee and shoulder joints. If not treated the joint may become badly damaged and unstable, putting stress on the tissue and ligaments surrounding the joints, ultimately leading to some form of deformity.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that most commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, knees, hips and feet. Surrounding each joint is a protective capsule holding a lubricating fluid to aid in motion. Cartilage, a slippery smooth substance, covers most joints to assure a cushioned, even and fluid motion of the joint. As this cartilage wears away due to time or injury it causes the membranes lining the joints to become inflamed, with the possibility of bone rubbing against bone. The bodies defence reaction can result in the edges of the bone to thicken and change shape, these bony growths are called osteophytes.

Many people suffering from any type of arthritis experience some difficulty functioning at home, at work or at play because of joint pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Getting out of bed in the morning, writing, preparing meals, dressing, walking, sleeping, climbing stairs and attending to matters of personal hygiene may become difficult to some degree by arthritis pain and joint stiffness. A lot of people find this impairment of mobility more distressing to them than the arthritis pain itself.

Fortunately, arthritis can be managed through a combination of medication, weight-management, rest, nutrition, and possible surgery. It is important to stress that relieving the stress on your joints by controlling or reducing your weight is vital, as is some form of light, regular exercise such as swimming or cycling. If you feel you are suffering from arthritis, consult your GP who can start a treatment plan that will help protect your joints and lessen the arthritis pain. Arthritis is a chronic disease that can be with a person for a long time and possibly for the rest of their life. The treatments a person receives will change over time and medication may be adjusted. Keeping a positive mental outlook and with the support of family and friends a person can live with arthritis and be able to continue his or her daily activities.

Maintaining a sensible weight can help reduce your chances of developing arthritis. Check whether you have a healthy weight on our BMI Calculator.