There are millions of people worldwide who suffer from arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammation of the body's joints. Any part of the body can be affected. The symptoms can vary from mild pain and stiffness to severe debilitating pain, where the sufferer has lost mobility to some degree.

There are two main types of arthritis, osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteo arthritis is the most common type and the main symptoms are pain and stiffness. Rest can be of great benefit to this type of arthritis and most of the symptoms can be alleviated this way. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that can affect people of all ages. The main symptom is painful stiff joints that become swollen and often deformed. Often sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis can become depressed and their quality of life can be severely curtailed.

As of yet there is no known medicine to cure this disease. There are many drugs on the market to help with the symptoms and can give relief for a varied length of time. But the question has to be asked does this medicine cause another problem? Lengthy courses of cortisone based medicine are often prescribed to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. While initially an improvement can be felt, long-term the benefits are just not achieved. As these medicines contain so many chemicals and compounds one wonders how many side effects there are.

Doctors prescribe medicines on a daily basis knowing that what they are prescribing will not cure the problem but it will reduce the severity of the inflammation.

Gold injections are widely used with patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This is a chemical compound containing gold. The doctor prescribing this knows it will not cure the arthritis but that it will reduce the severity of the symptoms. In a few hours after administration the patient will be feeling better and more active. This is a welcome relief from arthritis pain.

Aspirin remains the best reliever of symptoms which has the fewest side effects. Having said this long-term use can still cause unwanted side effects such as ulcers in the stomach to mention just one. As medicines are advocating all the time it is only a matter of time before these side effects will be lessened.

Corrective surgery is also a thing to be considered. This is always an option when the patient's joints become swollen and deformed. Surgery is a difficult choice to make for any patient as there is a very long recovery afterwards. As always with surgery it can carry its own risks with a patient who is not mobile or in good general health. Joint replacement can have excellent results and mobility can be restored to the joint eventually. Offering new possibilities to the arthritis sufferer.