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Arthritis is a diseases caused by disorders of joints or inflammation of them. There are several types of arthritis. The hand of an individual affected by a particular form of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis can be seen in the figure below. It is caused by an individual’s cells being attacked by their own immune system and is known as an auto-immune disorder. The immune system attacks the body tissues and most damage occurs in the cartilage found between joints.


The hands shown have been affected by arthritis.

Arthritis can also be caused by the daily wear-and-tear of a joint, when bones constantly rub against each other. It can affect the hands, the knee, feet, hip and back. It usually affects the elderly but can also result from an injury. The disease can also result from a lifestyle characterised by lack of exercise.

Arthritis cannot be cured. However, in rare cases joint replacement is available.


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