Overview

Arthritis is a name for a group of conditions affecting the joints. These conditions cause damage to the joints, usually resulting in pain and stiffness. Arthritis can affect many different parts of the joint and nearly every joint in the body.

Is rheumatism different to arthritis?

Not really. Rheumatism is just a more general word that was used in the past. It described any pain in your bones, muscles and joints. We know more about problems with bones, muscles and joints, so we use words like back pain, tendonitis and arthritis to describe these conditions now.

Are there different types of arthritis?

There are over 100 forms of arthritis. Each type of arthritis affects you and your joints in different ways. Some forms of arthritis can also involve other parts of the body, such as the eyes. The most common forms of arthritis are:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • gout
  • ankylosing spondylitis.

Who gets arthritis?

Anyone can get arthritis, including children and young people. In Australia nearly one in five people has arthritis. Many people think arthritis is a normal part of getting older. This is not true. In fact two out of every three people with arthritis are between 15 and 60 years old. Arthritis can affect people from all backgrounds, ages and lifestyles.

For more information, download arthritis information sheets by clicking here