So what is Arthritis?

Isn’t it that weird squeaky bone thing that old people get?
Unfortunately this is a misconception, Arthritis can occur at any age, some people are even born with it!
According to Arthritis Care there are 12000 children in the UK with Arthritis, and approximately 27000 people living with Arthritis under the age of 25.
I myself was diagnosed at the age of 8, and you can read my riveting life story here ; Against All Odds.
When I was diagnosed my Rheumatologist explained to me that everyone has Cancer cells and Arthritic cells in their bodies, and whether it’s through a   genetic disposition or an environmental factor such as  a freak accident it takes something to trigger it.
I would tell you what my trigger was, but that would be spoiling the exciting story you’ve yet to read! 😉
There are 2 common types of Arthritis:
*Rheumatoid Arthritis
But what is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an auto immune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, however it’s not localised to only joints, it can also affect the muscles and bones too.
It is not clear what causes Arthritis, and at present there is no cure.
Systemic Onset Juvenile idiopathic  Arthritis, (SJIA) is a type of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This is what I was diagnosed with; Systemic,  relating system especially.  juvenile  , because I was diagnosed under the age of 16. Idiopathic, meaning the disease and it’s  cause is unknown. Arthritis,disease causing pain and stiffness within the joints.
There are 4 types of JIA, but most people with the disease refer to it as JIA, I know I certainly do!
How does Rheumatoid Arthritis affect the body?
*Taken from Arthritis Care*
Rheumatoid Arthritis  is an inflammatory disease mainly affecting joints and tendons. An inflamed joint looks swollen and red and appears warm to the touch.
The disease usually starts in the wrist, hands or feet  and spreads to other joints and other parts of the body.The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.
Usually the inflammation is the bodies way of healing, in Arthritis however the immune system starts to attack the body instead of defending it.
The inflammation affects:
*The thin synovial membrane that lines the joint capsule
*The tendon sheath tubes in which the tendons move.
*The bursa  (sacs of fluid that allow the the muscles and tendons to move smoothly over each other).
The joints and inflamed  tissues then become stiff, painful and swollen.
So how has this affected me?
For the most part, my Arthritis was so severe I hobbled around everywhere like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! I was even offered a zimmerframe, my response went something along the lines of:
“I’m not walking round looking like a Granny”
So you can probably guess that my consultants loved me! ;
Actually I think they did, on more than one occasion I was congratulated for taking it all in my stride, and not freaking the hell out every time I had to have an injection… Pin cushion was my ghetto name, the homies called me pinky for short.
I really hope you laughed at that, and not currently searching for the psychiatric unit number on Google!
It sounded funny to me…
Anyway I suppose I just wanted to debunk some myths about Arthritis, and essentially tell you that it’s about as fun as knives under your nails.
I’m going to write a few more posts relating to my journey with the big A, so if you want to be bored to tears about treatments, medications, what it has taught me and the lighter side of Arthritis, then please stick around 🙂
You are more than welcome to sign up to my newsletter, if you so wish! 🙂
If you have any questions regarding Arthritis, or a specific post about my journey with it, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below, or find me on the following:

Much love, Sassy x

42 comments on “What Is Arthritis?”

  1. This is so interesting and so true that most people (me included) associate arthritis with the later years in life. You have an amazing attitude towards it, your consultants must have been in awe of you I bet…and so fantastic that you’re writing about your journey with it so we can all learn more. Xxx #triballove

    • Thank you lovely lady!
      I think they found me a pain in the butt, because i’m so stubborn 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed reading it! 🙂 xxx

  2. I know someone whose daughter has JA. You have such a sunny outlook considering the cack you have to deal with. Sassy by name and Sassy by nature! Big #tribe love xxx

    • Thanks love!
      I definitely think you have to be with conditions such as JIA/RA, because it’s so crappy!
      I always feel a wave of sadness when I find out someone else has to put up with this pain in the ass disease! xxx

  3. I didn’t know you had Arthritis, I’ve had it since I was 23, my hands are a right mess : )
    My consultant loved me too, haha. Actually they let me take control of my treatment and I always try to stay positive.

    • I guess it’s something new we both learned about each other today!
      You should do guest post for me about your experiences! (If you wanted to of course)
      Glad your consultants gave you that freedom! Positivity definitely helps!
      I have severe Arthritis in my right hand, and it’s misshapen because of it; I call it my spas hand 😉 haha xxx

  4. my wife has hyperlaxity of her joints, all her ligaments are looser than they should be, causing excess wear and tear on the surrounding joints. She is 34 and probably needs knee replacements. Arthritis can affect anybody, of any age. #anythinggoes

    • Hey Jeremy,

      That sounds painful! It sucks that these diseases exist!
      Sending positive thoughts your family’s way! 🙂 xxx

  5. I was actually told when I was 14/15 that I had it, despite not being tested or formally diagnosed may I add, and then told that there would be a high chance that I would be suffering with it quite severely by the age of 25!

    Arthritis runs in both sides of my family, so although I was not shocked I was scared of the thought of being a granny before my prime! As you say, I didn’t want to be walking round with a zimmerframe on tennis balls!

    Luckily, it turns out that doctor (who also once told me it was likely I had cancer) was wrong and though I do have “arthritic cells” I don’t suffer to badly, and only in my knees specifically!

    Very informative and funny look at it!

    Lu xx


    • Oh Lucy your Doctor sounds like a right muppet!!
      I’m glad it doesn’t heavily affect all your joints!
      Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 xxx

  6. I know it’s not the same at all, by my doggy was diagnosed with early onset arthritis as a pup. His joints are swollen and misshapen now, and he often limps after a walk, (he is now 11), and the medication that he’s had to take for it has seriously upset his stomach so he has to take a second medicine for that. It’s a miserable condition, I know lots of people who have suffered too, and had to give up their much loved hobbies as it hurt too much to play the piano or garden. I’m really glad that you have found a treatment that gives you back some pain free movement and hope there are major medical advances soon to help you and all the many other sufferers struggling through this. #bigpinklink

    • Hey Louise,

      Sorry to hear about your dog, that’s so sad seeing animals in pain; especially when they can’t communicate with you! And it’s so rubbish about the side affects too! 🙁
      Me too,it’s a nasty disease!
      Thanks for being a great host 🙂 xxx

  7. My friend contracted arthritis after having her second baby. She got an infection, it turned nasty and now she has severe arthritis at the age of 43. It’s so dibilitating and she is on steroids for life now, which themselves are doing her harm and her organs will eventually become unhappy with. Just terrible and so unfair.
    Great post as always Sassy, important topic.xx

    • Oh Gemma that is bloody awful to hear that about your friend!
      Steroids are really good for attacking the inflammation, but as you said taking them constantly is not good for the internal organs etc!
      Speak to your friend about approaching her Rheumatologist about going onto Inflixumab.
      Big hugs xxx

  8. Thanks for the very informative post. I did know all of this about arthritis and had no idea it could affect juveniles. I grew up with some crazy stomach issues and know what its like to be stuck with needles and have tests run all the time. Glad you shared your story.

  9. This is so interesting Sassy…thank you for sharing. I had no idea about the fact we all have the cells dormant (?) in our bodies. I’ve seen how debilitating it can be for family members. I look forward to learning more about it. I bet they loved you Pinky!! #triballove

    • I’m glad I could give a little bit of extra knowledge to the condition!
      It is so rubbish seeing family/ friends go through it!
      Big love xxx

  10. I knew it wasn’t an old person’s disease as I have work colleagues who suffer. I didn’t know that it could affect people so young, I guess though you have to take it in your stride whatever your age, but being so young it’s hard, but perhaps easier in some ways too. #mmbc

    • Hey Stephanie,

      Thanks for taking the time out to leave me a comment!
      It’s not great having it as a child because as children we just want to be like everyone else, but it’s taught me to be strong and not give up 🙂
      There are always positives; even if you have to look a little harder! 🙂 xxx

  11. I love your up beat approach to what must be a painful condition. I have stiffness and discomfort in my shoulder and hip, but it’s an age thing. Having knives pushed under your nails is no laughing matter (I’d die!).

    I must say that I thought arthritis was wear and tear, I had no idea that it was actually the body attacking itself. That’s my one thing new learned today! Thank you.


    • Hey Debbie,

      It’s not pleasant i’ll tell you that! I’m glad I was able to give you that new piece of information!
      Thanks for being a great host! 🙂 xxx

  12. Thanks for saring this Sassy, such an interesting post. I have a friend who is severly affected by arthritis and some mornings she struggles to get moving. It has made me think that I am very lucky to be able to move around pain free, something that I shouldn’t be taking for granted because as you point out we all those cells #bloggerclubuk

    • Hey Emma,

      Tell your friend I send her my love! It’s hard to put your body through that type of pain first thing in the morning; just to get out of bed!
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment 🙂 xxxx

  13. Yes, I never knew kids could have arthritis till I met one of them. And honestly it was quite heartbreaking for him and for his parents too because he was in so much pain. For a long time, no one knew what was going on as well. Thanks for sharing this information and a bit of your story. #triballove

    • Hey El,

      It’s so awful seeing children with limited mobility and in constant pain. When I was younger A girl I went to school with had the same condition and I used to look at her and think is that what I look like to the outside world? She looks in agony! Which of course she was, but it was horrible to see her like that!
      Big hugs 🙂 xxx

  14. Oh Sassy I’ll not complain about my joints again. I have a bit of both forms, not yet bad but it is there and squashed my love of running, I’ve already been told I’ll need knee replacements but they won’t do it yet. #bloggerclubUK

    • Hey Fiona,

      I hate it when you have to give up something you love due to diseases such as Arthritis!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂 xxx

  15. As you know one of my very best friends has JIA and I am always astounded at how she has dealt with it and what a wonderful attitude she has. I think you are the same! I really think it’s important that younger people who live with arthritis should spread the word as its so often assumed it’s an ‘old person’s disease’. #BloggerClubUK

    • Hey love,

      Thank you for your very kind words! From reading your friends’ blog; she certainly is a breath of fresh air, and what she is doing with her blog is just brilliant! 🙂
      Big hugs 🙂 xxx

  16. I have a related condition, fibromyalgia, and am still seeing the rheumatologist to rule out RA, so I sympathise completely. I recently wrote a post to raise awareness of this and how invisible illnesses are often the hardest to deal with as others have no idea how much we suffer. I tend to say very little about the pain I am in each day, many people had no idea to be honest, but I find the best way for me is to just get on with it, to keep going and refuse to allow my condition to win, even if some days it tries its hardest! Great post, thank you for sharing. #puddinglove

    • Hey Laura,

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment and sharing part of your story!It sounds like we are very similar in the way we deal with it!
      I definitely need to find this post of yours; give it a read and a share!
      You are most welcome to write a guest post on my blog giving your experiences with your condition, if you wanted?
      Keep fighting! Big hugs to you 🙂 xxx

  17. Oh Sassy, you truly are an inspiration to read – so blunt and to the point despite you’re obvious suffering. Your positivity is to be commended – I think that is what helps you – your complete and utter positive outlook on life – I want what you’re on lovely because you just radiate happiness! thank you for sharing what must have been a difficult post #BloggerClubUK #Triballove xx

    • Thank you for your gorgeous words Helen, I truly appreciate it lovely lady!
      Big love and hugs to you! 🙂 xxx

  18. Lol pinky… priceless! I love how you bring humour to serious posts. I’m sure your doctors did love you! You have an amazing up beat attitude. I’m interested in learning more about your arthritis & I hope you are feeling better today. Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK x

    • I’m glad I could make you laugh 🙂
      I think i’m good at being a clown and trying to make fun of things; it definitely makes the day go a lot quicker 😉
      Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 And of course being a fab host! xxx

  19. Great post highlighting that arthritis is not limited to the older generation. I love that you were called Pinky, what a great nickname to help you see the funny side of something that must have been really tough to deal with as a teenager. Thanks for sharing with #PuddingLove

  20. Watching someone you love be in pain everyday is horrendous, but watching your child suffer is for me personally beyond description! You manage to put a positive spin on everything you have been through (still going through). And I for one salute you & look forward to reading more on this very eye opening subject, from the sufferers side, as I myself did not know children could get arthritis until it hit my family. Xxxx

    • Thank you for your kind words Mrs P, it’s very interesting to hear it from a parents’ perspective!
      I hope you enjoy the rest of my waffling 😉 xxx

  21. Great post, when Bridget was diagnosed with RA 26 years ago, the first thing we said was – “isn’t it only old people that get arthritis”. Looking back, it sounds silly, but that’s generally how most people see arthritis.
    Keep up the great work at raising awareness and writing this brilliant blog, I know how challenging it can be when you have health problems 🙂

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