Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation”. There are many different types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis which is age-related degeneration of the joints. When there is a suspicion of arthritis, one needs to carry out some tests to exclude inflammatory causes.
Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may vary in severity and duration. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.