Rose, Arthritis is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases. The word “arthritis” means joint inflammation. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is sometimes called degenerative joint disease because the cartilage in the body breaks down, or degenerates, with age. Rheumatoid arthritis is a long lasting disease that affects joints in any part of the body. The immune system causes the joint lining to swell and inflammation spreads to surrounding tissue in rheumatoid arthritis. These can be very painful conditions that are relentless and disabling. Most health-care professionals recommend many practices as steps to reduce the risk of developing the disease and to slow or prevent permanent joint damage.