What is arthritis?

This condition is defined as inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling and stiffness. Arthritis occurs in many different forms and the most common is osteoarthritis which is related to wear and tear of cartilage. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease associated with a hyperactive immune system, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. It can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability.

Causes of the many different forms of arthritis include injury, infections, genetic factors, degenerative problems and metabolic irregularities. 


There are many options according to the particular type of arthritis in question. Acupuncture, massage and nutritional advice can all be considered while medication, steroid injections and surgery are all options within orthodox medicine.