What is Arthritis? Symptoms, Causes & More

What is Arthritis

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term used for conditions that cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and other joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. In joints with OA, the protective cartilage between bones starts to wear away. This allows the bones to rub together, which can cause pain and stiffness.

Does joint cartilage come back?

Although you can’t regrow cartilage, you can protect the cartilage you still have. There are simple steps you can take to reduce arthritis pain and help protect your joints against further damage.

How do I know if it’s arthritis?

Some of the common signs of arthritis are:

  • Morning stiffness lasting 30 minutes or less
  • Joint pain or tenderness that is constant or that comes and goes
  • Not being able to move a joint in the normal way
  • Weakness and joint pain that can’t be explained

This is not a complete list of all possible symptoms. Only your doctor can diagnose whether what you have is arthritis.

What causes arthritis?

Your arthritis is caused by a combination of risk factors that are unique to you. Some of them–age, genetics, previous injuries, and overuse of certain joints–are things you can’t really do anything about.

But you can change other factors–like weak joint muscles, lack of exercise, and continued joint wear and tear due to excess weight.

The Keep Moving® arthritis exercise sessions

Regular exercise may reduce your joint pain and help improve joint health.


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