ARTHRITIS

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Symptoms, Types & Treatment

Skip to: Osteoarthritis - Rheumatoid Arthritis - Pain Relief

Arthritis is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the joints. While it’s common among older people, it can affect people of all ages and is thought to affect more than 10 million people in the UK.

It causes swelling, pain and difficulties in moving the affected area. Since there are so many different types of arthritis, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment and if you think you may have the condition, you should consult a doctor at the earliest opportunity. The sooner arthritis is diagnosed and treated, the more effective it will be.

The causes of arthritis aren’t fully understood and there’s currently no cure, but there’s a range of treatments that can help relieve symptoms and help sufferers minimise its impact on their lives.

Our GPs can diagnose what type of arthritis you have, refer you on to the next stage of treatment and if needed, prescribe medication to help you deal with the symptoms. See a Doctor About Arthritis
arthritis in the hands
arthritis makes pick small things up difficult

Types of Arthritis

There are 2 main types of arthritis

Osteoarthritis

This is the type of arthritis you’ll be most familiar with. It tends to occur in adults over the age of 40 and is more likely to affect women than men. Osteoarthritis can also develop following an injury or crop up as the result of another joint-related condition, such as gout or other forms of arthritis.

The causes of osteoarthritis aren’t clear, although it does seem to occur more in people who have a family history of the condition.

Osteoarthritis: Symptoms

The joints in your body are surrounded by a smooth lining of cartilage - a flexible, connective tissue that plays an important role in enabling them to move.

Osteoarthritis causes changes in this cartilage, making it painful and harder to move. Over time, the condition leads to a thinning in the cartilage, which puts more stress on the underlying ligaments and tendons and causes them to become inflamed.

In very serious cases, this can wear away, leading to friction as bones rub against each other and put the joint out of shape.

In general, osteoarthritis tends to affect areas like:

  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Hands and fingers
  • Spine

While there’s no cure for the condition, it’s not guaranteed to get worse over time and there are a number of treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms.

Our doctors can provide tailored advice on lifestyle changes, supportive therapy and if necessary, prescribe medication to help relieve pain and discomfort.

Talk to a Doctor About Arthritis
arthritis in the knee

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your body usually uses swelling to help promote healing in damaged areas, however, with rheumatoid arthritis - this system runs out of control.


This causes problems with various parts of the joint - leading it to become swollen, painful and hard to move.

In some cases, there can be periods where the condition gets worse (known as a ‘flare up’), which can be triggered by a wide variety of issues, such as infections and stress. On the other hand, there may be periods where the condition dies down and sufferers don’t experience much in the way of symptoms.

Periods of inactivity can also cause stiffness to worsen, with some people experiencing difficulty with this first thing in the morning.

This causes problems with various parts of the joint - leading it to become swollen, painful and hard to move.

In some cases, there can be periods where the condition gets worse (known as a ‘flare up’), which can be triggered by a wide variety of issues, such as infections and stress. On the other hand, there may be periods where the condition dies down and sufferers don’t experience much in the way of symptoms.

Periods of inactivity can also cause stiffness to worsen, with some people experiencing difficulty with this first thing in the morning.

See a Doctor About Arthritis
X-ray of hand with rheumatoid arthritis
Pain relief for arthritis

Arthritis Pain Relief Advice

Fortunately, there’s a range of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, and sufferers can often get on with their lives with just a few minor lifestyle adjustments.

Various types of medication can be used to relieve the pain, reduce the inflammation and slow the progress of the disease.

Our doctors can provide advice on your condition, work with you to help manage it better and if necessary, prescribe the right kinds of medication to help get your rheumatoid arthritis under control.

Talk to a Doctor About Arthritis

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