Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that causes pain and immobility, ranging from mild to severe. In Ireland around 915,000 people, including 1 in every 1,200 children, are living with arthritis, making it the single biggest cause of disability.
There are over 100 types of arthritis but the most common forms are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (also known as rheumatic arthritis) and fibromyalgia. Although many symptoms of arthritis are shared across the conditions, like pain, fatigue and inflammation, there are many unique to each disease too.
People of all ages are living with arthritis, not just the elderly - the average age of diagnosis for people with RA is 35. No arthritis cure exists at present and it is not known what causes it. However, there are many medical and non-medical arthritis treatments available that can help you to control your arthritis symptoms.
Our skeleton is made up of bones which are rigid, inflexible objects which require help to allow us to move. This help comes in the form of joints at the point where bones make contact. Arthritis damages joints; that is why people experience joint pain when they move.
The joint operates by connecting the bones with elastic band-type chords, called ligaments, which keep them in place. A protective coating, called cartilage, covers the bone surface at the joint to prevent bones from rubbing directly against each other. The joint is surrounded by a capsule also, and the space within the joint (joint cavity) contains a liquid, called synovial fluid, which provides nutrients to the joint and cartilage. It is produced by the synovial membrane (or synovium) which lines the joint cavity.
Movement of the joint is operated by the muscles attached to the bones as they lengthen and shorten.
Arthritis affects joints in many different ways levels of joint pain can also vary depending on the type and severity of arthritis you have.
SerraNova works closely with Arthritis Ireland to help to source products which help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.