What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition causes pain and inflammation within the joints, and, though it can occur at any age, it occurs mostly in men and women over 40. Arthritis can cause joints to become stiff, restricting movement, as well as causing swelling and weakening of the muscles all of which can subsequently cause pain.
The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs when the cartilage tissue between the bones in the joint wears away, causing the bones to rub together. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the joints are attacked by your body's own immune system, which breaks down the bone and cartilage tissue in the joints.
What does this involve?
Once your arthritis has been diagnosed, your consultant will be able to administer the correct medicines and/or injections to help reduce inflammation and other symptoms. Treatment may also involve medicine aiming to slow down the condition. Treatment in the early stages can include activity adjustments and appropriate exercises to help keep the joints mobile and muscles strong and effective. In severe cases, surgery may be required to treat the affected joints.
What risks should I know about?
Because there are different types of medicines for different types of arthritis, the side effects of and risks of treatments may vary, but your consultant should discuss these with you.