What is Arthritis ?
Arthritis refers to inflammation of a joint and can affect one or more joints. There are many causes of arthritis. The arthritis process occurs with inflammation of the lining of the joint. This leads to warmth, pain, redness, stiffness and swelling. Joint swelling is due to synovitis (inflammation of the synovium) and / or an effusion (increase in synovial fluid). Inflammation increases blood flow to the joint bringing inflammatory cells and chemicals which are released into surrounding soft tissues; resulting in cascading pathways leading to damage to cartilage and bone that can ultimately result in joint failure.
Did you know that arthritis is more common in children and young people than most people think. Watch this short video in which children are asked about how old they think you have to be to have arthritis - it is amusing and also quite revealing !
Arthritis affects 1 in 1000 children and is as common as epilepsy. Arthritis in most cases, is treatable and the key is early diagnosis and access to the appropriate treatment.