Arthritis Definition

Arthritis is an umbrella term that describes more than 100 inflammatory diseases of the joints. Some common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

Arthritis can affect nearly any joint in the body, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling, and potentially causing significant disability. Arthritic diseases tend to concentrate in load-bearing joints such as the hip joints or knee joints, and also the small bones of the hands and feet. The localization of pain is highly dependent on which form of arthritis is present.

Treatments for the various types of arthritis are often conservative, consisting of drug therapy and gentle arthritis exercise programs. The specific combination of treatments will vary depending on the types of symptoms and the stage of disease. When conservative treatments fail to effectively manage symptoms, surgery may be presented as an option.