09 October 2018
The two most common types of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK and is most common in adults who are in their late 40s or older, women and those with a family history. However, if you don’t fit this category it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Osteoarthritis can occur at any age as a result of an injury or due to other joint-related conditions.
The pain and stiffness experienced is due to the initial effects of arthritis to the smooth cartilage lining of a joint. Once this lining begins to thin out, your tendons and ligaments have to work two-fold, causing swelling and the formation of osteophytes (bony spurs). The most commonly affected joints are those in the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Another form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, usually affecting individuals between 40 and 50 years old and while this can occur in anyone, women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Rheumatoid is different from osteoarthritis, the pain and swelling occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, leading to bone and cartilage breakdown.
In addition to this individuals with rheumatoid arthritis can develop problems with other tissues in their body. Other types of arthritis and related conditions include: fibromyalgia (pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons) lupus (autoimmune conditions affecting different organs and tissues), gout (causing intense pain and swelling) and many more.
The symptoms you experience will depend on the type of arthritis you have which is why it’s important to have an accurate diagnosis if you suffer with:
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Inflammation in and around the joints
- Restricted movement
- Warm, red skin over the affected joint
Ways to treat arthritis
Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatments which help slow down the condition an elevate some of the symptoms. Physiotherapy is a great way to reduce pain and inflammation and normalise your range of motion in the affected joints. In addition, our specialist physiotherapist can help with light exercise plans so you can continue the work at home. In severe cases of arthritis, a joint replacement or fusion may be suggested. We are on hand to help with this too, with our expert orthopaedic consultants on hand to help you kick start a better life.