What is arthritis?
Basically, arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints that causes pain and stiffness, which often worsens with age and limits mobility. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a natural breakdown of cartilage or connective tissue around your joints, which is why OA is commonly felt in the hands, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Neither condition is curable, but both can be managed.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
The most common symptoms are joint inflammation, swelling, pain and lost mobility in the affected joint(s). Symptoms may appear gradually over a period of years or come on suddenly and without warning.
How do we treat arthritis?
Treatment depends on which type of arthritis you have and your specific symptoms. Medications and physical therapy can both be effective for all but the most severe conditions. In these cases, a procedure such as joint replacement surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and restore movement and quality of life.