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Around 20% of the UK population have some form of Arthritis. Arthritis affects both sexes and all age groups. Arthritis tends to be characterised by inflammation and degeneration of a joint, which causes joint pain and swelling. This can progress to the point where it affects everyday life.
Arthritis can affect one joint or many joints, with the hip joint, knee joint and the joints of the hand most commonly affected. There are many different types of Arthritis and these each present in slightly different ways.
Some Arthritis tends to be associated with advancing age and becomes more pronounced as we get older. Some types of Arthritis occurs secondary to damage to the joint, whereas other types of Arthritis are genetic.
Medical knowledge of Arthritis is developing rapidly and modern treatments are improving the quality of life of people with Arthritis. There is always something that can be done to help Arthritis and by understanding more about Arthritis, people are better able to help themselves. This guide briefly explains the most common types of Arthritis and what you can do about them.