Dr Colin Tench
Specialist expertise: Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, Osteoporosis, Orthopaedics.
Arthritis is a long-term condition that occurs when the cartilage that lines a joint is worn away due to wear and tear.
Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints, surrounding tissues and other connective tissues. Arthritis develops over time when the cartilage surrounding a joint begins to wear away and deteriorate, causing pain and inflammation.
There are over 100 types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most prevalent. This common condition can affect any joint in the body, although the hands, feet, knees, hips and spine are often most affected.
There’s no known cause for most types of arthritis, but there are several factors that can increase the risk of their development. These include:
An arthritis diagnosis can be made by assessing a patient's medical history and performing a physical examination to evaluate the joints. X-rays and blood tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis.
The severity of arthritis symptoms can range from mild to severe. Specific symptoms can also depend on the type of arthritis, but often include:
The main aim of arthritis treatments is to manage and reduce symptoms to improve quality of life. The type of treatment used will depend on the type of arthritis and the degree of the condition, with a range of less to more invasive options: