Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is a musculoskeletal disease that specifically affects the joints. It occurs when the connective tissues – known as the Cartilage – experiences a reduction in its normal amount. There are over 100 identified types of arthritis, ranging from those related to the wear and tear of the cartilage to those connected to an overactive immune system which causes inflammation. Arthritis is classified into two main types – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – and both brings damage to the joints in different ways.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that involves a wear-and-tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. The result of this can lead to the bones grinding directly to another bone, causing pain and constrained movement. Heavily used joints such as the hips and knees, hands, spine, and the base of the thumb and the big toe joint are the most commonly affected by osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a more complicated type of arthritis. This disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the synovial membrane – a lining of the joint capsule that encloses all the joint parts – causing it to become inflamed and swollen. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can eventually destroy the cartilage and the bone within the joint. Unlike osteoarthritis, people with RA have a more severe functional status. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better chance for the individual to manage the disease successfully; reducing severe impact of the disease on the quality of his/her life.

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

Depending on the type of arthritis a person is suffering from, signs and symptoms may vary. But the most common indications of the disease are as follows:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Swelling and redness of the joints
  • Tenderness
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Immobility

Risk Factors of Arthritis

Arthritis may be caused by several factors which includes the following:

  • Family History – If the disease runs in your family, then you are also highly susceptible to acquire arthritis.
  • Age – The risk of getting arthritis increases with age.
  • Gender – It is said that women are more prone to develop rheumatoid arthritis compared to men. While most individuals who suffers from gout are male.
  • Obesity – Excess body weight can put added stress on the joints, specifically on the knees, hips, and spine.
  • Previous joint injury – When a person experiences an injury on the joint they are more likely to develop arthritis.

In the case where joint pain is primary and is considered the main condition, then the individual is most likely suffering from one of the following forms of arthritis.

On the other hand, if joint pain is only secondary, whereby pain in the joints is considered a symptom of another disease, then a person could be suffering from one of the following conditions.

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Leong Keng Hong Arthritis and Medical Clinic
6 Napier Road #04-18
Gleneagles Medical Centre
Singapore 258499

Tel: (65) 6472 4337
Fax: (65) 6472 0691
Operating Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 12.30pm
Monday to Friday: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Close on Sunday & PH
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