The word “arthritis” means joint inflammation. Inflammation is the way your body reacts to injury or disease. But in the case of arthritis, we are talking about inflammation that lasts for a long time or disappears and comes back. Arthritis is the umbrella term for rheumatic diseases that are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The location, intensity and pattern of symptoms vary from disease to disease and from patient to patient. Typically, these symptoms tend to worsen with age. The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.