Arthritis, in short

Arthritis is a name for a group of conditions affecting the joints. It can affect many different parts of the joint and nearly every joint in the body.

Who gets arthritis?

Anyone can get arthritis, including children and young people. In Australia one in six people have 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.

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:

Is rheumatism different to arthritis?

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.

Is my sore joint arthritis?

There are many different reasons why your joints may be sore. Not all pain in muscles and joints is caused by arthritis.

It could be from an injury or using your joints and muscles in an unusual way (for example, playing a new sport or lifting heavy boxes).

Talk to your doctor if you have pain and stiffness that:

  • starts for no clear reason
  • lasts for more than a few days
  • comes on with swelling, redness and warmth of your joints
Read more on the info sheet: What is Arthritis?