“Arthritis” itself isn’t a condition, it is a general term used to describe joint diseases and conditions impacting the joints. In fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis affecting 10 million people in the UK alone – that’s 1 in 6 – according to Versus Arthritis. These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a very common form of arthritis affecting 450,000 (Versus Arthritis) people in the UK. It is characterised by natural wear and tear of the joint tissues, cartilage and bone. It is thought to be the most common form of arthritis in the UK and is more common as people get older. Those with osteoarthritis will usually experience pain in the mornings and after exercise. Joints can become swollen and red.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in around 190,000 (Versus Arthritis) people in the UK. Symptoms of this chronic progressive disease include multiple joint pains, stiffness and swelling. It is not caused by wear and tear but by inflammation caused by the immune system attacking itself. The pain tends to improve on activity.