This is a popular misconception. Although it is true to say that osteoarthritis, which is the commonest form of arthritis, becomes more common as we get older, there are over 200 different types of arthritis.
Many forms of arthritis are autoimmune diseases – in other words, conditions where the body’s own immune system goes wrong and starts to cause inflammation in the tissues. Joints are commonly affected by pain, swelling and stiffness, but other parts of the body may also become affected – resulting in fatigue, rashes, lung problems and kidney problems, for example. This varies according to different conditions.