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Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis. It affects people of all ages, including children (see below).
Types of arthritis

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people.

It often develops in people who are over 50 years of age. However, it can occur at any age as a result of an injury or another joint-related condition.

Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness.

The cartilage lining of the joint can then thin and tissues within the joint can become more active. This can then lead to swelling and the formation of bony spurs, called osteophytes.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones gradually erodes, causing bone in the joints to rub together. The joints that are most commonly affected are those in the hands, spine, knees and hips.

Read more about osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis

In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people. It often starts when a person is between 40 and 50 years old. Women are three times more likely to be affected than men.

Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis are two different conditions. Rheumatoid osteoarthritis occurs when the body's immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.

The outer covering (synovium) of the joint is the first place affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint's shape. This can cause the bone and cartilage to break down.

People with rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs in their body.

reference by : http://www.nhs.uk/


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