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Arthritis refers to a group of diseases which affect a person’s joints.  Different forms of arthritis cause damage to joints and symptoms usually include pain and stiffness.  Arthritis can be present in most of the joints in the body, sometimes it affects only a few of the joints and at other times many.


The difference between rheumatism and arthritis


There is no real difference between the two.  In general rheumatism was used in the past to describe pain in the bones, joints or muscles.  Today we tend to use more specific terms to define the problems such as bursitis, back pain, arthritis and tendonitis.


Different types of arthritis


There are many different types of arthritis which have different underlying causes and can affect your joints and body in different ways.  Some may also affect other parts of your body such as your eyes.  Some of the more common forms of arthritis include:



  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Gout

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Psoriatic Arthritis


Arthritis can affect anyone from children to adults.  It is a common misconception that it only affects older adults, although some types of arthritis are more common as we age such as osteoarthritis.  1 in 5 people in Australia will be affected by arthritis in their lifetime, with most people being affected between the ages of 15 and 60.  Arthritis does not discriminate and can affect people of all backgrounds, age, gender and lifestyle.



For more information please visit:


Arthritis & Osteoporosis Western Australia 


Australian Rheumatology Association 



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