What Is Arthritis

Almost all of us know someone who has been affected by arthritis or a related condition. Arthritis is so common that we sometimes underestimate its seriousness as a threat to the public health and even our selfs. Researches in the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that arthritis is the main cause of disability in people fifteen years of age and older. Nearly 40 million Americans have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, but it most often comes when we get older.

The word arthritis literally means “joint inflammation”. There are more than hundred types of arthritis. The most common type is Osteoarthritis or OA. It is a degenerative disease of the cartilage and bone that results in stiffness and pain in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a systemic disease. This type of arthritis is far less common than osteoarthritis but potentially much more serious and more painful. The exact causes of RA are still unknown. Both OA and RA are chronic conditions. There is no cure for arthritis.

The good news is that there are many ways to manage and treat arthritis and related conditions. In addition, there are many things you can do ,or not to do, to make living with arthritis easier and less painful.