Overview

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints (synovium).

Uric acid crystals, infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Jan. 07, 2016
References
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  2. Living with arthritis: Health information basics for you and your family. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Arthritis/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 2, 2015.
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  4. Ferri FF. Rheumatoid arthritis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  5. Kalunian KC. Initial pharmacologic therapy of osteoarthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  6. Weisman MH, et al. Total joint replacement for severe rheumatoid arthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  7. Osteoarthritis and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/arthritis/osteoarthritis. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.
  8. Rheumatoid arthritis and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/RA/getthefacts.htm. Accessed Dec. 3, 2015.