Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages, including children.
Types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the 2 most common types of arthritis.
Other types of arthritis and related conditions
- ankylosing spondylitis – a long-term inflammatory condition that mainly affects the bones, muscles and ligaments of the spine, leading to stiffness and joints fusing together. Other problems can include the swelling of tendons, eyes and large joints
- cervical spondylosis – also known as degenerative osteoarthritis, cervical spondylitis affects the joints and bones in the neck, which can lead to pain and stiffness
- fibromyalgia – causes pain in the body’s muscles, ligaments and tendons
- lupus – an autoimmune condition that can affect many different organs and the body’s tissues
- gout – a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. This can be left in joints (usually affecting the big toe), but can develop in any joint. It causes intense pain, redness and swelling
- psoriatic arthritis – an inflammatory joint condition that can affect people with psoriasis
- enteropathic arthritis – a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the 2 main types being ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. About 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis will develop enteropathic arthritis. The most common areas affected by inflammation are the peripheral (limb) joints and the spine
- reactive arthritis – this can cause inflammation of the joints, eyes and the tube that urine passes through (urethra). It develops shortly after an infection of the bowel, genital tract or, less frequently, after a throat infection
- secondary arthritis – a type of arthritis that can develop after a joint injury and sometimes occurs many years afterwards
- polymyalgia rheumatica – a condition that almost always affects people over 50 years of age, where the immune system causes muscle pain and stiffness, usually across the shoulders and tops of the legs. It can also cause joint inflammation
- Arthritis and children – Most types of childhood arthritis are known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
- The main types of JIA are:
- Treating arthritis
Further information, help and support: – Versus Arthritis provides help and support for people in the UK with arthritis, plus their families and friends. They have a free helpline you can call for further information and support on 0800 5200 520, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. You can also look up arthritis services near where you live.
Find out more about living with arthritis Information: Social care and support guide
need help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability
care for someone regularly because they’re ill, elderly or disabled, including family members
Our guide to care and support explains your options and where you can get support.