It is estimated that at least 10 million people in the United Kingdom have arthritis. The term arthritis covers more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system and the joints. The most common form is osteo arthritis. Other forms include rheumatoid arthritis, infectious arthritis and juvenile arthritis. People with psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis.


Osteoarthritis usually causes stiffness and tenderness of the joints. With rheumatoid arthritis, the joints may become painful, swollen and stiff. Those with this form of arthritis may be at increased risk of osteoporosis, a disease which causes weakness of the bones. Infectious arthritis is often linked to an injury or illness. The patient may have a fever, in addition to swelling of the joints. Juvenile arthritis affects children, with the child experiencing fevers, loss of appetite and joint pain.

Treating the condition

Arthritis can be treated with medication to reduce the inflammation, as well as with improvements to the diet.

Some forms of arthritis can be caused by infections, but the cause of other forms in unknown. Research is being carried out to establish whether genetics and lifestyle can be a factor.

If you experience any of the symptoms of arthritis, you should consult your doctor. The earlier it is diagnosed, the sooner the condition can be managed and improved.

Online resources are available which could help you to understand and manage the condition. You can find out about programs and exercises that may improve the condition, as well as products which can help to make life easier. There are products that have been independently tested and evaluated, so look for ones with an ‘Ease of use commendation’. Products are available for use at home and work.

There are also online tools available that can help you to track your nutrition and fitness, explore arthritis supplements and get tips from an online community. You will also be able to find out about any special events in your area.

In summary:
  • Arthritis can cause painful, swollen and stiff joints
  • Anti-inflammatory medication is used to treat arthritis
  • Treatment and lifestyle changes can improve and manage the condition