Arthritis Introduction

According to a Rheumatologist, Arthritis could be generally defined as a group consisting of more than 100 conditions that cause severe pain, inflammation and stiffness of the joints. There are around 200 different types of rheumatic diseases or conditions, frequently referred to as Arthritis or Musculoskeletal diseases. According to statistics, this condition affects approximately 10 million people in the UK - one in five among the adult population and around 12,000 children.

Arthritis is broadly grouped into two major categories:

Non-inflammatory arthritis or Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of non-inflammatory arthritis. In Osteoarthritis, the cartilage that acts as a protective cover for the bones wears down. This type generally affects the knees, hips, lower back region, neck and joints of the fingers. Some of the factors that can cause osteoarthritis include injury to a joint, obesity and family history of arthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common kind of inflammatory arthritis. This causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. Rheumatologist is of the opinion that Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most debilitating forms of arthritis and severely affects women than men.

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Some of the major symptoms of this condition include pain, inflammation in the joints and stiffness. The autoimmune diseases that can cause this condition include Gout, Scleroderma, Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Psoriatic arthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis.

This condition is the prominent cause of disability in people above the age of 15. Although it is a disease that can cause severe pain and discomfort, pain medications help to a great extent. Besides medications, there are a variety of factors that can help you to effectively manage pain caused by this condition including various relaxation techniques, weight management, appropriate exercises, massage, and heat and cold treatments.

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