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Arthritis: What You Need to Know

Explore the three types of arthritis

A Veteran having his arm inspectedArthritis is a disease that affects the joints and can affect any joint in your body. Arthritis is caused when the cartilage that protects the bones wears down and causes the bones to rub against each other, causing pain and swelling.

You can take care of arthritis by following a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, and finding the right balance of rest and exercise. In some mild arthritis cases, medications could reduce the symptoms. For more severe arthritis, surgery may be needed to improve the condition of the joint.

There are many types of arthritis diseases, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, and basal joint.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. Osteoarthritis becomes more common as people get older. Joint replacement is the most common surgery used to treat osteoarthritis. Your healthcare provider will ask about your health history and perform an exam.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects the lining of the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. Left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis may damage joints so badly that they no longer function. This disease appears more often in women than in men.

What Is Basal Joint Arthritis?

Basal joint arthritis affects the joint at the base of the thumb. It's caused by wear and tear on the joint. The most common symptom is pain in the lower part of the thumb. Basal joint arthritis is most common in women over 40, but anyone can get it.

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Updated May 4, 2021