What is it?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The symptoms of arthritis usually develop over time, but they may also appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women than men and in people who are overweight.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Arthritis
- Arthropathies

Signs & symptoms

There are different types of Arthritis. The symptoms vary depending on the type of the Arthritis, and may include:
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Inflammation in and around the joints
- Restricted movement of the joints
- Warm red skin over the affected joint
- Weakness and muscle wasting


Diagnosis of Arthritis includes physical exam to check for fluid around the joints, warm or red joints, and limited range of motion in the joints. For severe symptoms it might be recommended to consult with a rheumatologist first. This may lead to a faster diagnosis and treatment.
Extracting and analyzing inflammation levels in the blood and joint fluids can help to determine the kind of arthritis. Blood tests that check for specific types of antibodies like anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide), RF (rheumatoid factor), and ANA (antinuclear antibody) are also common diagnostic tests. Imaging scans such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scans are recommended to produce an image of the bones and cartilage.


The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain and prevent additional damage to the joints. Improving joint function is also important. Doctors may prescribe a combination of treatment methods to achieve the best results. Common treatments may include:

- Medication: there are a number of different types of medication treat arthritis:
*Analgesics are effective for pain management, but don’t help decrease inflammation.
*Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), help control pain and inflammation.
*Menthol or capsaicin creams block the transmission of pain signals from the joints.
*Immunosuppressants like prednisone or cortisone help reduce inflammation.

- Surgery to replace the joint with an artificial one may be an option. This form of surgery is most commonly performed to replace hips and knees.

- Physical therapy that involves exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the affected joint is a core component of arthritis treatment.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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