Introduction to Arthritis

Arthritis (‘arth’ meaning joint, ‘itis’ meaning inflammation) isn’t a one-note story or even a few variations on a single theme; it actually consists of more than 100 different conditions. Arthritis collectively affect nearly 70 million adults and 300,000 children in America alone.

The common thread  among these 100-plus conditions  is that they all affect the musculoskeletal system and specifically the joints – where two or more bones meet. Arthritis-related joint problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage (the tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of the bones, enabling them to glide against one another) and surrounding structures. Such damage can lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that, depending on the location of joint involvement, can interfere with the most basic daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting your food or brushing your teeth.



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