About Arthritis

ACE is committed to using inclusive language that is free from words, phrases and tone that reflect discriminatory or stereotyped views of underrepresented people or groups. In our attempt to avoid bias or using language that appropriates other cultures as it relates to Indigenous Peoples health and wellness, ACE consults with Indigenous advisors to ensure its website and other written materials use terms and expressions that align with Indigenous identities and are culturally appropriate.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, a disease that affects people of all ages, from babies to older people. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a disease of the elderly; in fact, more than three in five people diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65. The disease affects people of all races and both genders, though some people—like women and Aboriginal Canadians—are more likely to get arthritis than others.

The more than 100 types of arthritis fall into two major groups:
  • Osteoarthritis - Caused by a breakdown of cartilage in joints causing bones to rub together resulting in pain, stiffness and eventual loss of use. There are some forms of osteoarthritis that appear to be genetically driven, and others that are a result of injury, overuse or advanced age.
  • Inflammatory arthritis - is a general term used to describe autoimmune forms of the disease. In inflammatory arthritis, the body's own immune system attacks healthy joints and tissues, causing inflammation and joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. Other forms include ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus and many others.
To help you learn more about arthritis, Arthritis Consumer Experts has created the About Arthritis resource for people living with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis, their families and caregivers, and the public. The resource features easy read disease spotlights describing the diagnosis, treatment, and care of many types of arthritis.

The new About Arthritis resource has been reviewed by members of ACE’s Advisory Board and now includes the most current scientific information disease information organized under new headings:
  • Type of disease
  • Diagnosis
  • Who can develop it
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment
  • Self-care
  • Key takeaways
  • References