What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a group of conditions that causes pain and inflammation to joint cartilage in the body. Joints are the areas where two bones meet such as the knee, hip, shoulder or elbow. They allow our bodies to move in many different ways. Damage to the joints can result in joint weakness, instability, decreased movement and visible deformities.
Over time, as the body ages, our joints naturally degenerate. However, when someone complains of pain and stiffness in their bodies, or that their hands or hip are too sore to move, it may be as a direct result of arthritis.
If left untreated, arthritis has a debilitating effect on sufferers interfering with their quality of life and lifestyle. As arthritis becomes increasingly painful and disabling, the most basic daily tasks such as walking, brushing your teeth, driving or working at a computer can be hampered. Arthritis affects millions of people around the world. While it is most common in people over 60 years, arthritis can affect all age groups - even infants and children.
Arthritis vs. Rheumatism
People also often refer to arthritis as rheumatism. Arthritis is a very general term used to describe any aches and pains in the bones, muscles and joints. The term rheumatism is often colloquially used in the same context as Arthritis although technically it refers to a group of conditions affecting not only the joints but also muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. Rheumatic diseases also have the potential to affect internal body areas.