Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints (areas where your bones meet and move). Arthritis usually involves inflammation or degeneration (breakdown) of your joints. These changes can cause pain when you use the joint.
Arthritis is most common in the following areas of the body:
- • Feet.
• Lower back
- Arthritis is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis, which develops when joint cartilage breaks down from repeated stress. It’s the most common form of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis, or arthritis of the spine (usually your lower back).
- Juvenile arthritis (JA), a disorder where the immune system attacks the tissue around joints. JA typically affects children 16 or younger.
- Psoriatic arthritis, joint inflammation that develops in people with psoriasis (autoimmune disorder that causes skin irritation).
- Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack synovial membranes in your joints.
How is Arthritis Treated?
There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.
Conservative (nonsurgical) treatments include:
- Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune system’s inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
- Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
- Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.
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