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Arthritis is one of the most common conditions found with aging.

Arthritis is best described as the inflammation of one or more joints. This occurs due to cartilage breakdown, resulting in pain and swelling as the shock absorbing tissue is worn away. There are specific signs of arthritis, such as pain, redness and warmth around the joint and limited movement, especially at certain times of the day.

The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gonococcal arthritis
  • Gout
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in children)
  • Other bacterial infections (nongonococcal bacterial arthritis)
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis (Reiter syndrome)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (in adults)
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Common causes of joint inflammation, which can be acute or chronic, can be from the following:

  • An autoimmune disease
  • Broken bone
  • General "wear and tear" on joints
  • Infection, usually by bacteria or virus
  • Osteoarthritis (most common type)

There are many treatment options available for arthritis and each case is assessed individually to find which option will work best.  Appropriate exercises can also help in keeping affected joints moving and minimize pain.