Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints, such as one or both knees or wrists, or a part of your spinal column. Joint pain and stiffness are the main symptoms of arthritis. The pain associated with arthritis is caused by joint damage.
Types: The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your joint symptoms may include:
- Decreased range of motion
How arthritis damages joints?
The two main types of arthritis damage joints in different ways.
- Osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, wear-and-tear damage to cartilage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks joints and inflames the synovium, causing swelling, redness and pain. The disease can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
Risk factors for arthritis include:
- Family history.
- Age. The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout — increases with age.
- Sex. Women are more likely than are men to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while most of the people who have gout are men.
- Previous joint injury.