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What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues.


What are the Common Types of Arthritis?

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis.

  • Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body.

  • Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful. It usually affects one joint at a time (often the big toe joint).

  • Arthritis in children is called childhood arthritis or juvenile arthritis. The most common type of childhood arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

  • There are more than 100 types of arthritis.

  • Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness.

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.

  • Experts don’t know the causes of many forms of arthritis.

  • Certain risk factors make it more likely that you will develop arthritis.

Juvenile Arthritis

Nearly 300,000 kids and teens in the US are affected by Juvenile Arthris. Read more about Juvenile Arthritis.


  • There is no cure for arthritis, but it can be treated and managed.

  • Treatments include medication, non-drug therapies such as physical therapy or patient education, and sometimes surgery.

  • Managing arthritis symptoms is important to reduce pain, prevent or delay disability, and improve overall quality of life.

  • CDC’s Arthritis Program recognizes 5 ways to manage arthritis and its symptoms: learn new self-management skills, be active, talk to your doctor, manage your weight, and protect your joints.

  • Physical activity programs and self-management education programs teach adults with arthritis how to manage their arthritis symptoms and other related challenges.


Arthritis Advocacy (Arthritis Foundation)

Juvenile Arthritis (Diversity Health NetWoRx)

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