Arthritis is a very common joint disease with more than 100 variants. Its most common symptoms include pains and swelling of the joints. In its more severe forms the disease inhibits the movement of affected limbs. It affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, although women and the elderly people are more likely to suffer from it than other groups of the population. Statistics show that approximately one out of five Americans has some type of arthritis, including around 300,000 children. Until today medical researchers remain uncertain about its exact causes but there is evidence that genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors are important elements in the equation.

1. Inherited arthritis

Researchers have strong grounds for linking the development of arthritis with genetic factors. Research shows that members of families where one or more people have arthritis stand a higher chance of getting it than people without this family history. One study indicates that the possibility of developing rheumatoid arthritis increases fivefold for people the HLA gene. However, this is not to say that those who have this specific gene will definitely develop the disease because many who have arthritis lack this gene. Scientists therefore believe the presence of such genes makes patients more open to get arthritis but it does not determine whether or not they will get it.