GARRY WATSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARRY WATSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hands. Arthritic hands of an elderly man clutching a walking stick. Arthritis is a disease causing joint inflammation. Affected joints become swollen red, warm, painful and stiff. The condition varies in severity from a mild ache and stiffness to severe pain and joint deformity (as seen here). Osteoarthritis, where the condition is aggravated by mechanical stresses, is the more common form. The more serious rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body's immune system acting against the joints and surrounding tissue. Treatment of arthritis depends on the cause but includes physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and joint replacement surgery.
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