Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. The two types are, osteoarthritis, which affects the cartilage lining of the joint first and rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the outer covering of the joints. Arthritis affects more than 10 million people in the UK of varying ages, although it is most common as people get older.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms for Arthritis vary in severity and the occurrence of symptoms will depend on the type of arthritis the individual has.

The majority of forms of arthritis share similar symptoms, such as:

  • Joint pain, stiffness and/or tenderness
  • Joint inflammation
  • Restricted movement of the joint
  • Warm red skin over the joint
  • Muscles weakness and wasting

Cause and treatment

Arthritis is caused by the wearing down of cartilage around the joint. Circumstances that can speed up or increase the wearing down of the cartilage include:

  • Infection or injury to the joint
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Autoimmune disorders

Treatment options will largely depend on the individual's form of arthritis.

Treatment for osteoarthritis include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly
  • Paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroid injections, capsaicin cream and opioids
  • Hot and/or Cold compress, manual therapy and assistive devices
  • Joint replacement or joint fusing

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids and painkillers
  • Biological treatments, such as etanercept and infliximab
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Surgery

Exact treatments will often depend on the severity of the condition and any external factors, such as other existing conditions, age, and overall health of the patients.

Medical Cannabis and Arthritis

Various studies indicate there is a positive correlation between medical cannabis and arthritis. Medical cannabis alongside traditional methods of treatment has been seen to improve symptoms for those suffering from osteoarthritis, with marked improvements in quality of life. Cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that could also help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Our specialist clinicians are experienced in assessing individual cases and helping to determine whether medical cannabis could be an effective options