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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Many people start to feel pain and stiffness in their bodies over time. Sometimes their hands or knees or shoulders get sore and are hard to move and may become swollen. These people may have arthritis. Arthritis may be caused by inflammation, of the tissue lining the joints. Some signs of inflammation include redness, heat, pain, and swelling. These problems are telling you that something is wrong.

Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Over time, in some types of arthritis but not in all, the joints involved can become severely damaged.

There are different types of arthritis. In some diseases in which arthritis occurs, other organs, such as your eyes, your chest, or your skin, can also be affected. Some people may worry that arthritis means they won’t be able to work or take care of their children and their family. Others think that you just have to accept things like arthritis.


Understanding Arthritis and Rheumatism

  • Arthritis (ADAM)
  • Arthritis (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • Arthritis and Diabetes (Arthritis Foundation)
  • Link Between Arthritis and Heart Disease (Arthritis Foundation)
  • Preventing Disability Among Arthritis Sufferers
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (American College of Rheumatology)
  • Special Considerations for Diabetics with Arthritis
  • Test Your Arthritis Knowledge - Quiz (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

  • Commonly Asked Questions

    View All Q&As

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis (Centers for Disease Control)
  • What Are NSAIDs? (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • What Are the Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults with Arthritis? (Centers for Disease Control)
  • What Are the Risk Factors for Arthritis? (Centers for Disease Control)
  • What Can I Do to Stay Active As I Age? (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  • What is Gout? (NIH Senior Health)
  • What Is Osteoarthritis? (NIH Senior Health)
  • What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? (NIH Senior Health)
  • What is the Immune System and How Does it Work?
  • What Should I Know About Joint Replacement Surgery? (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • (More)

  • Additional Information

  • Symptoms and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Complications
  • The Body
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    Case Western Reserve University

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    Last Updated: Oct 14, 2015