Arthritis is a common type of autoimmune disease that causes pains to one or more joints in the body and creates inflammation and degeneration over time. It usually starts on the feet and hands but may also gradually affect the hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and lower back when left untreated. It is chronic and may slowly progress and worsen with age.
Arthritis can be hereditary (given that a person has a family history) and may also be acquired. A job, career, or sport that constantly puts the joints under repeated stress and pressure can contribute significantly to acquiring arthritis in the long run. Over time, other risk factors for developing arthritis may also include age, lifestyle, extreme activities, and food intake or eating habits.
According to world statistics (Global RA Network 2021 Survey), more than 350 million people are affected by arthritis globally. While it is prevalent, it is also one of the leading disability-causing diseases worldwide. Although there are different types of arthritis (each differing in a scale of severity), the most common symptoms of arthritis are usually the same, to some extent.