Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms and can occur at any age. Symptoms include inflammation, joint pain and stiffness.

Arthritis


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Orthopaedics

What is arthritis?

The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both conditions can severely impact your quality of life causing joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and its causes depend on many factors. Also known as the ‘wear and tear’ disease, it causes a gradual deterioration of the cartilage, changes to the bone structure and an inflammation of the joint lining. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the healthy joint tissue. It also causes chronic pain, inflammation and joint damage potentially in many joints of the body.

How is it treated?

Although there is currently no cure for arthritis, treatment options have dramatically improved. The main goal is to relieve pain and improve mobility using pain control medication, physical activity and physiotherapy. In the early stages of the disease no surgical treatment is required. Avoiding triggers, monitoring for symptoms and implementing early intervention plans are the best way to treat the symptoms of arthritis. 

As the disease progresses you may consider some of the many available injections as a way to eliminate pain. This is only a temporary fix however. In the later stages of the disease, total hip replacement surgery can help to alleviate severe pain and restore mobility.

How long does it last?

Ultimately the symptoms of both types of arthritis worsen over time. Arthritic flare-ups can be triggered by situations such as treatment changes, stress, poor sleep, trauma to the area, infection or even the weather. They can last for variable periods of time.

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