Pain of arthritis

There are two broad categories of arthritis. One type, although still a disease process, is associated with wear and tear and is known as osteoarthritis. The other is a more destructive type of inflammatory arthritis described in medical terminology as rheumatoid type arthritis. The major difference between the two types is that rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by changes in blood samples whilst with osteoarthritis these are not present.

Osteoarthritis is due to the breakdown of the ultra-smooth cartilage at the ends of the bones. As the surface becomes slightly pitted or roughened, the joint may produce more fluid to cushion the joint. This swelling can in turn distend or distort the joint, which in turn can be painful.

It is not always possible to help a person with an arthritic joint as it depends on the level of joint and bony change, as well as the expectations of the individual. Very often, however, by alleviating some of the tension in the joint and making sure surrounding areas have freedom of movement, treatment can still be helpful. Tips on specific exercises and general advice can further help an individual continue with activities they enjoy.