The word "Arthritis' means 'joint inflammation' ('Arthr' refers to 'joint' and 'itis' means 'inflammation'. There are two main forms of Arthritis - Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. It is often called 'wear and tear arthritis'.  The surfaces within your joints become damaged so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly as it should. It causes joint pain and stiffness.

A joint with mild osteoarthritis

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A normal joint (front view)

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Above is an example of  a normal, healthy joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of 'autoimmune disease' that causes inflammation in your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling. It’s the second most common form of arthritis in the UK. 

A joint badly affected by rheumatoid arthritis

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