The most common inflammation of the joints is osteoarthritis. It causes pain and swelling, and occurs as a result of small wear and tear of the joints over time that does not get repaired adequately. It often occurs in the knees, hips, neck, back and fingers.
Risk factors include old age, injury, family history and obesity.
Treatment for osteoarthritis includes painkillers, steroid injections and surgery depending on severity. Lifestyle management treatments include weight loss if necessary, regular exercise, wearing appropriate shoes and employing special devices to minimise the stress experienced by joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system detects the cells lining the joints as foreign, causing inflammation and pain. It occurs frequently in the hands and feet, and risk factors include old age, being female and having a family history of it.
Treatment includes medication to relieve the symptoms and slow down the advancement of the condition, physiotherapy to maintain mobility of the joint, and surgery to address issues brought up by the arthritis.