What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or conditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the best known and is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement of joints.

Over the years, the load support, the overuse and the frictional forces progressively damage this particular cell mat “undressing” and directly exposing the bone underneath. The breakdown of cartilage, thus, causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint.

However, most of arthritis does not follow the same mechanisms of destruction observed in OA. They are caused because of the immune system do not work properly and start attacking our joints, specifically the synovium, a thin membrane that lines the joints. As a result of the attack, fluid builds up in the joints, causing pain in the joints and inflammation. Due to their different mechanisms of action, osteoarthritis requires a different therapeutical approach than rest of autoimmune arthritis.