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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a common condition which causes pain and inflammation in a joint. It is estimated that, within the UK, over 10 million people of all ages suffer from some form of arthritis.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around 8 million people. In the majority of cases, osteoarthritis develops in people over 50 years of age, although it can develop at any age due to a joint-related injury or medical condition. It affects the smooth cartilage lining of your joints, causing stiffness which makes everyday movements difficult and often painful. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones gradually erodes, often causing the joints in your hands, spine, knees and hips to rub together.



In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people and, much like osteoarthritis, it often develops in people who are between 40 and 50 years of age. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid osteoarthritis occurs when your body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. Initially the outer covering of your joint is affected, and the condition can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and an altering of the shape of your joint, which causes both the bone and cartilage to break down.

Although osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, other types of arthritis and related conditions include:

Ankylosing spondylitis – 
a long-term inflammatory condition which affects the bones, muscles and ligaments of the spine. This condition can also cause swelling of your tendons, eyes and large joints,

Cervical spondylosis – 
often referred to as degenerative osteoarthritis, cervical spondylitis affects the joints and bones in the neck,

Fibromyalgia – 
this condition causes pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons (for more information, see our health condition section on Fibromyalgia),

Psoriatic arthritis – 
an inflammatory joint condition which can affect people with psoriasis,

Secondary arthritis – 
a form of arthritis which can occur after a joint injury.

What are the symptoms of arthritis?click to read more

Depending on the type of arthritis from which you suffer, you will experience different symptoms. This makes it fundamental to receive an accurate arthritis diagnosis in order to receive appropriate treatment.

It is crucial that you seek professional help if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • joint pain, tenderness and stiffness,
  • inflammation in and around the joints,
  • restricted movement of the joints,
  • warm, red skin over the affected joint,
  • weakness and muscle deterioration.
How Spinal Care Clinics can help treat arthritisclick to read more

Although there is no known cure for arthritis, there are many treatments which can help to alleviate the effects of your condition. Many clients undergo surgical procedures, such as arthroplasty, arthodesis or osteotomy, which either replace or fuse joints as well as cutting and re-aligning bones. In many cases, sufferers are prescribed painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

However, treatments such as sports massage and regular chiropractic care are far less invasive treatments and have been shown to slow the condition progress and minimise damage to joints, as well as alleviating stiffness and joint pain.

At Spinal Care Clinics, we offer a unique approach to healing and wellness. By practicing advanced chiropractic and specific sports massage techniques, we can help you mange the symptoms of your arthritis and delay the progress of your condition. Our team of expert chiropractors utilise state of the art equipment, such as electric treatment benches and advanced digital X ray machines, to precisely diagnose the source of your arthritic pain and subsequently administer appropriate and effective treatments.

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