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Updated: 2023-08-29


Swelling and tenderness in one or more joints, causing joint pain or stiffness that often gets worse with age.


The two main types of arthritis damage joints in different ways. Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints. Arthritis risk factors include a family history of the condition and older age.


The most common symptoms of arthritis affect the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis a person has, the symptoms may include pain, stiffness and swelling. The affected joint might be a different color from usual. It also may not be able to move or stretch as far as it used to.


Arthritis treatment depends on the type of arthritis a person has. Medicines and physical therapy may ease symptoms and help affected joints work better. If these don't help enough, surgery may be a treatment option. Healthy changes may help ease symptoms. Lose extra weight if needed and try low-impact exercises such as swimming.