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Arthritis Symptoms and Causes

Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body. Rheumatic diseases include any diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases affect people of all ages. The three most prevalent forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis (involving the joints), fibromyalgia (affecting in muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (involving the lining of the joint). The inflammation may affect all of the joints. Symptoms vary but usually include pain, stiffness and swelling in one or more joints. Specific causes for most forms of arthritis are not yet known.