“Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Arthritis Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Aches
  • Arthritis
  • Joint Diseases
  • Joint Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatic Conditions/Diseases
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Terminology

Can arthritis mean different things to different people?

I think the term arthritis can be like the terms diet, love and menopause and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term arthritis what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk.

It can therefore be important when the term arthritis is used to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing or not. In What Is Arthritis? Arthritis Australia explain:

“Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet”.2

In Arthritis: Arthritis Types the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also note:

“Arthritis means inflammation or swelling of one or more joints. It describes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues”.3

Definition

What is arthritis?

DotS the definition of arthritis may vary. In Arthritis: Basics – What Is Arthritis? the (United States) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases’ (NIAMS) definition is:

““Arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee”.4

Types

What are the 2 most common types of arthritis?

In Arthritis: Overview – Types of Arthritis the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the 2 most common types of arthritis”.5

Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis (OA)?

DotS the definition of OA may vary. In Osteoarthritis: Basics – What Is Osteoarthritis? the NIAMS’s definition is:

“Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that happens when the tissues in the joint break down over time. It is the most common type of arthritis and is more common in older people”.6

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

DotS the definition of RA may vary. In Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? the CDC’s definition is:

“Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body”.7

Symptom Differences

Are arthritis symptoms one-size-fits-all?

No. The CDC explain:

“Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness”.8

Cause

What causes arthritis?

In Arthritis: What Is Arthritis? the (United Kingdom) Versus Arthritis elaborate on:

“It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis. There are several factors that can increase the risk of each type of arthritis. It could be that the genes you inherited from your parents or grandparents made you more likely to get arthritis”.9

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and OA?

On page three in Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing the Risks of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis Post Menopause the International Menopause Society elaborate on:

“While osteoarthritis is more common in men than women before menopause, it is higher in women after menopause. The identification of women with a family history of arthritis or those who are beginning to have stiff joints and immobility at the start of menopause is important and may allow for interventions, such as physical therapy, weight loss, physical exercise and anti-inflammatory agents. There is some data suggesting that estrogen may have a role in improving or decreasing the risk of osteoarthritis”.10

Management

What can arthritis management include?

In Arthritis: Ways To Help Manage Arthritic Conditions the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health elaborate on:

“There are many ways to help manage arthritic conditions including:

  • Exercise such as stretching and/or strength work, walking, swimming or cycling
  • Physiotherapy, osteopathy and massage to assist with flexibility and muscle relaxation
  • Healthy eating
  • Relaxation or meditation to help with pain management
  • Medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and paracetamol
  • Alternative therapies such as glucosamine and fish oil

Discuss the best options for you with your doctor”.11

Treatment

How may arthritis be treated?

In Arthritis: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment the (United States) Mayo Clinic note:

“Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you”.12

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have arthritis?

If you think you have arthritis, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Arthritis: In-Depth – Treatment of Arthritis the NIAMS explain:

“Your doctor will talk to you about the best way to treat your arthritis, based upon the type you have. Possible treatments include:

  • Medications such as:
    • Pain relievers that are taken by mouth
    • Creams or ointments that are rubbed into the skin over sore muscles or joints to relieve pain
    • Medications that may slow the course of the disease and prevent further damage to joints or other parts of the body.
  • Surgery, such as joint replacement”.13

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Arthritis?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Arthritis?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. What Is Arthritis? Arthritis Australia https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/what-is-arthritis/ Accessed: 17 August 2020
  2. What Is Arthritis? Arthritis Australia https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/what-is-arthritis/ Accessed: 17 August 2020
  3. Arthritis: Arthritis Types. Page Last Reviewed: 20 February 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/types.html Accessed: 17 August 2020
  4. Arthritis: Basics – What Is Arthritis? Last Reviewed: 30 April 2017. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/arthritis Accessed: 17 August 2020
  5. Arthritis: Overview – Types of Arthritis. Page Last Reviewed: 14 December 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/#types-of-arthritis Accessed: 17 August 2020
  6. Osteoarthritis: Basics – What Is Osteoarthritis? Last Reviewed: October 2019. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/osteoarthritis Accessed: 17 August 2020
  7. Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Page Last Reviewed: 27 July 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/rheumatoid-arthritis.html Accessed: 17 August 2020
  8. Arthritis: Arthritis Types. Page Last Reviewed: 20 February 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/types.html Accessed: 17 August 2020
  9. Arthritis: What Is Arthritis? Versus Arthritis https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/arthritis/ Accessed: 17 August 2020
  10. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing the Risks of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 17 August 2020
  11. Arthritis: Ways To Help Manage Arthritic Conditions. Page Last Reviewed: 02 December 2019. Page Last Updated: 15 December 2013. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bone-health/arthritis Accessed: 17 August 2020
  12. Arthritis: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 19 July 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350777 Accessed: 17 August 2020
  13. Arthritis: In-Depth – Treatment of Arthritis. Last Reviewed April 2017. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/arthritis/advanced#tab-treatment Accessed: 17 August 2020

Topic Last Updated: 17 August 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 17 August 2020
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