As a condition that many people suffer from at any given time, it is important to know exactly what is arthritis. Learning about arthritis can help one recognize symptoms of arthritis pain later on if they should occur or help figure out when the pain is due to something else.

Put simply, arthritis is joint inflammation due to any number of reasons. This is one of the most common reasons why those over 50 have issues with mobility, and it is not exclusive to any class or culture. It is also something that has plagued the world for a long time; evidence suggests that even dinosaurs have suffered from arthritis, proving the condition is natural due to aging wear and tear.

The major symptom of the condition is pain, which can either be mild or severe. It may also feature tenderness, joint clubbing, swelling and stiffness. Those afflicted with arthritis may have difficulty moving the affected joints, making it difficult to use their hands. Arthritis generally strikes the hands as the joints are heavily worn down throughout life, and those in the late stages of elderly life often have clubbed fingers due to having so many bouts.

This degeneration that causes the illness is typically either due to aging naturally or due to the disease itself. Other causes can include trauma and infection, as well as metabolic changes. Another disease entirely can cause it to flare; for example, the uric acid crystals found in gout attacks can end up in any joint outside of the big toe, causing arthritis to flare.

Common variations of the disease include osteoarthritis, which is due to degeneration; septic arthritis, which is due to infection somewhere in the body by a bacteria; rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the immune system attacks its own joint linings; inflammatory arthritis, which is due to inflammation around the affected joint; and juvenile arthritis, which appears in younger adults and children.

There is currently no cure for arthritis, but there are plenty of ways to treat the pain and the problems that cause it to flare up. There are plenty of exercises that are designed to gently strengthen the joints, which can be recommended by a therapist, and other medications may also reduce the pain and inflammation levels. If an underlying condition is causing the arthritis, then it is best to treat that condition to stop all of the symptoms.