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Arthritis

Arthritis

More than 40 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children. More than 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis. Approximately 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. More than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down. The wearing down of the protective tissue at the ends of bones (cartilage) occurs gradually and worsens over time. Joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, or hips is the most common symptom. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joint linings, causing painful swelling. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.

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