The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation.” Inflammation is one of the body’s natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain, and stiffness. Chronic or recurring inflammation, in arthritis, can lead to tissue damage. With arthritis, an area in or around a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness and, sometimes, difficulty moving. Some types of arthritis also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs.
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms, and the symptoms will vary in severity from person to person. Osteoarthritis, the most common type, does not generally cause any symptoms outside the joint.