The two main types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis – osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints.
Osteoarthritis often occurs in the knee and symptoms can include pain, stiffness, hard swellings and soft swellings.
Exercise, losing excess weight and reducing strain on the knee are all ways to help ease symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee.
But there can sometimes be rarer complications that happen that include deposits of calcium crystals in your cartilage and cysts forming at the back of your knee.
Osteoarthritis with crystals
Chalky deposits of calcium crystals can form in your cartilage, according to Arthritis Research.
It adds: “Osteoarthritis tends to become more severe more quickly when crystals have formed.
“Sometimes the crystals can shake loose, causing a sudden attack of very painful swelling called acute calcium pyrophosphate crystal arthritis.”
These can form when extra joint fluid is being produced by the joint and some of it becomes trapped in a pouch sticking out of the joint lining, says Arthritis Research.
While they’re often painless, you may be able to feel a soft-to-firm lump at the back of your knee.
Sometimes a cyst can cause aching or tenderness when you’re exercising.
The charity adds: “Occasionally a cyst can press on a blood vessel, which can lead to swelling in your leg, or the cyst may burst an release joint fluid into your calf muscle, which can be very painful.
“A cyst may not need treatment, but if it does the extra fluid can be drawn from your knee using a syringe and a steroid solution can be injected into it.”
So what do we know about preventing arthritis? Can arthritis be prevented or is it an incurable disease?
There is no guaranteed cure or prevention of arthritis and any joint in the body can become arthritic.
But different measures can be implemented to reduce the risk of getting arthritis in particular joints.
From taking supplements and vitamins to practicing hand exercises, Group Support Manager at Forest Healthcare has come up with six helpful tips.