Arthritis & pain
There are over 200 diseases that come under the term arthritis. Looking at symptoms such as joint pain, swelling and inflammation allows doctors to classify the condition into one of the following broad groups:
OA affects about 15 people in 100, and after age 55 is more common in women than men. It is a degenerative disease, resulting from wear on the joint lining (cartilage), which can then affect the underlying bone.
OA may arise without an apparent cause or may occur after damage to a joint from inflammation (which might be a result of infection), too much stress on the joint or traumatic injury. OA commonly affects joints that support the weight of the body, such as the spine, hips or knees. OA may only affect one side of the body.
RA occurs in approx. 1 person in 100 and most commonly affects women between the ages of approx. 40-50 years of age. It is an important cause of disability. RA causes early joint damage which limits movement, both of which progress slowly with time.
The causes of RA are unclear, but there is evidence to show that there is a predisposition for this condition to run in families.Last Updated 13-03-2009