Arthritis (strict meaning: joint inflammation) is a general term given to joint changes and diseases which occur in our bodies.
Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion as to what arthritis really means, and many people fear the diagnosis when there is really no need. The latest treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis involve a much more detailed scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms of this important disease. And the new treatments are much more effective.
There are four major categories we can put arthritis into:
- Traumatic arthritis
If you sprain your ankle or knee and it swells up, that is technically called an arthritis even though it is short-lived and very likely to heal and settle down.
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
This is the age-related joint change which increases as we get older, but is also connected with our family history. We are more likely to suffer from OA if our parents have it.
- Arthritic diseases
This is a large group of conditions varying from the not very serious to the disabling and life changing. They are true diseases which often have systemic (body wide) effects on the person way beyond their joints. The commonest of these diseases is rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bone diseases
Even though they are not strictly part of the arthritic diseases group, the diseases of bone are an increasingly significant part of rheumatology. Osteoporosis is the most well known.
In addition to the links above Physiotherapy Site covers the following arthritis-related issues:
In addition you may find useful the following Arthritis links