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Arthritis is an umbrella term describing painful conditions in which there is damage to the joints. Most common are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA); others are psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, gouty arthritis (also known as crystal-induced arthritis or more commonly, gout) and ankylosing spondylitis (affecting the spine). Around 10 million people in the UK have arthritis.


Important cause of impaired mobility in older people (uncommon before age 45). A non-inflammatory condition in which components of affected joints (not only cartilage, also bone, muscle, synovium, capsule) gradually degenerate, often resulting in severe pain, joint swelling and misalignment. Joints commonly affected are hands, spine, knees and hips. Exacerbations last weeks to months.

Practice Nurse featured article 

The challenge of managing osteoarthritis in primary care Sarah Ryan 

Practice Nurse Curriculum Module 


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