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Arthritis is a condition which causes pain and inflammation of the joints and bones. There are several different types of arthritis but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Common symptoms include:
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is most common in people over 50, but can develop at any age, particularly after an injury or as a result of another joint condition.
In people affected by osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between their bones gradually wastes away, which leads to pain in the joints. The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hips.
To learn more about osteoarthritis and its treatment, speak to your GP or visit NHS Choices.
National RA Awareness Week is organised by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and will be held between 19-25 June. The NRAS has made a video entitled 'Behind the Smile' to promote awareness of this 'Invisible Illness.'
Visit their website for more information.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system attacks the affected joints, causing pain and swelling.
It most commonly begins in people between the ages of 40 and 50, and women are more likely to be affected than men.
To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and its treatment, speak to your GP or visit NHS Choices.
Other information and advice
You can find out more about the various forms of arthritis and their treatment at NHS Choices.
Arthritis Care offers advice and support for people living with arthritis, as well as local workshops and support groups around the country.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society has a staffed helpline, runs local support groups, and produces helpful publications for people living with rheumatoid arthritis and their families and carers.
The Arthritis Research website provides information for people with arthritis, as well as for health and social care professionals.
Essex Libraries have a wide range of books to help people living with arthritis.
If you are concerned about joint pain or arthritis, always consult your doctor.
© Essex County Council 2017