Arthritis -what is it?

The most common types of arthritis are:


Arthritis means inflammation of the joints, the affected joints become stiff and painful, and are often red and swollen.  About 10 million in the UK have arthritis. There are over 200 kinds of arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Psoriatic arthritis

These are all inflammatory, autoimmune diseases, in which your body’s defence system starts attacking your own tissues instead of bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances. These conditions are also called systemic diseases because they can affect your whole body.

Osteoarthritis


In osteoarthritis, joints may also be stiff and painful, and can sometimes be red and swollen, but the condition has a different cause and is not an autoimmune disease.

Joint pain and arthritis is often a symptom in Connective Tissue Diseases (CTDs).  Connective tissues support, bind together or separate other body tissues and organs, and include tendons, ligaments and cartilage. These diseases may also cause inflammation in other tissues such as your skin, muscles, lungs and kidneys, resulting in a range of other symptoms.

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Connective Tissue Diseases  include: Lupus     (SLE - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)  Dermatomyositis.