Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. It is the #1 cause of disability in the US, and affects nearly 6.5 million people of all ages. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common types are:
- Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, which is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of cartilage that would otherwise prevent the bones in a joint from rubbing together. This degeneration causes stiffness, pain, and loss of movement in the joint.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic condition in which the lining of the joints becomes inflamed, leading to constant pain, loss of function, and long-term damage to the joint which can cause disability.
- Juvenile arthritis refers to any type of arthritis-related condition that develops in children or teenagers under the age of 18. The most common type of juvenile arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is characterized by swelling of the joints for six weeks or more.