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.
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
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.
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.
Read some of our Arthritis Insights articles on the things you can do to help manage your arthritis and its symptoms
Sign up to our e-news to receive regular information about arthritis and the ways we can manage it.