Arthritis is a very common condition that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life, including children.
There are many different types of arthritis that cause a wide range of symptoms which vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Common arthritic symptoms include:
- joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- inflammation in and around the joints
- restricted movement of the joints
- warmth and redness of the skin over the affected joint
- weakness and muscle wasting.
Check your symptoms with healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones gradually wastes away, leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a more severe but less common form of arthritis than osteoarthritis. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the tissue in the affected joints, causing pain and swelling to occur.
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Personal story: Rheumatoid arthritis
Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis can be both emotionally and practically challenging. Listening to others who have experienced similar situations is often re-assuring and can be helpful for you, your loved ones or when preparing questions for your doctor or a specialist.
Watch this video about a patient's experience after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
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