What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the name of a group of conditions that affect the body's joints. The word ‘arthritis’ literally means  'inflammation of the joint’.  

There are over 100 conditions grouped under the umbrella term ‘arthritis’, so it is really important to first of all get the right diagnosis

Each type of arthritis affects you and your joints in different ways. But, most people with arthritis feel symptoms in the joints, muscles, and other soft tissues around the joints. They can experience:

  • Pain or tenderness in joint/s
  • Joint stiffness
  • Warmth and/or redness in joint/s
  • Difficulty using or moving a joint normally.

The good news is that there are ways to help manage your arthritis and pain. Here at Arthritis Queensland, that’s one of our goals – helping Queenslanders with arthritis to live a full and enjoyable life.

Download our free information sheet - What is Arthritis?

 Anyone can get arthritis - younger people, older people, male, or female.

Causes of Arthritis

Scientists are continuing to learn more about the things that increase your chances of getting arthritis. This can vary depending on the type of arthritis.

These are some factors that can increase your risk:

  • Family history and genetics – if you have a history of arthritis in your family, you are more at risk of developing it.
  • Environment - for example, excessive stress on a joint from being overweight or a recurring injury may play a role in developing osteoarthritis. Another example is smoking which increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Gender – women make up 60% of all arthritis diagnoses. This might indicate that hormones, or other male-female differences, may play a role in the development of some types of arthritis.

Of course, some of these factors can’t be changed. But others can. Remaining a healthy weight, keeping active, and protecting your joints from injury, can help to slow the progress of your arthritis and reduce your pain.

Learn more about how Arthritis is diagnosed >>

Information and Support for Arthritis

Learn more about the types of arthritis and the ways it can be managed with our Info Sheets and Booklets

Call our free infoline on 1800 011 041 to speak with a member of our health team. 

Register for our online exercise program, Arthritis Moves!

Sign up to our e-news to receive regular information about arthritis and the ways we can manage it. 



You can make a difference by supporting the work of Arthritis Queensland. Arthritis Queensland is 95% community funded. We rely on our generous donors and volunteers to ensure that we can continue to provide solutions and support to adults and children living with the pain of arthritis.