Arthritis might seem simple, but it’s really not. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis.

Arthritis can start in many ways and can be difficult to recognise. It can come on slowly and be mild, or it can start suddenly and cause intense pain that surges within a few hours.

The signs and symptoms can come and go over time. It might cause the classic issues of joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, or it may first cause health problems that seem unrelated, like fatigue or a rash.1,2,3

The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.3

A lot of people think they might have arthritis, but for some reason, they never discuss it with their doctors. Many older people accept joint pain as a part of aging that can’t be avoided. They don’t talk to their doctor because they assume nothing can be done about it. Younger people with joint pain, swelling or stiffness might not even consider arthritis. They would be surprised to learn that people of any age can get arthritis, even children.1

Some signs and symptoms may include:3

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

You can control some risk factors, and others you cannot. By changing the risk factors you can control, you can decrease your risk of getting arthritis or making arthritis worse.4

Some risk factors for arthritis may include:

  1. Family history. Some types of arthritis run in families, so you may be more likely to develop arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder.3
  2. Age. The risk of many types of arthritis — including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout increases with age.3
  3. Gender. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Several factors such as longer life expectancy, hormones and lifestyle differences, may explain the higher prevalence of arthritis among women although these reasons are not entirely understood.5
  4. Injury and overuse: Repetitive movements or injuries to joints (such as a fracture, surgery or ligament tears) can lead to osteoarthritis. Some athletes, for example, repeatedly damage joints, tendons and ligaments, which can speed cartilage breakdown. An imbalance or weakness of the muscles supporting a joint can also lead to altered movement and eventual cartilage breakdown in joints.6
  5. Obesity. Carrying excess pounds puts stress on joints, particularly your knees, hips and spine. Obese people have a higher risk of developing arthritis.3

Some treatment options:

Norflex® Gel is a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) that works by blocking certain chemicals in the body that causes inflammation. By blocking these chemicals it helps to reduce pain and inflammation.7,8,9
Norflex® Gel is applied directly to the skin over the painful, inflamed muscle or joint area, where it is well absorbed to exert its triple action effect right on target.7,8

  • Anti-inflammatory action – it reduces the inflammation
  • Analgesic action – it relieves pain
  • Local anaesthetic action – it numbs the affected area to relieve pain

Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis whilst exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints.10

Lose weight if you are obese as weight loss will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints.10

Regular exercise can help keep your joints flexible, activities such as swimming and water aerobics may be good choices due to the buoyancy of the water which reduces potential stress on weight-bearing joints.10

Lifelong joint health is an important part of everyone’s wellness, productivity, quality of life and independence. If you have arthritis, you want to find out early so you can take steps to protect your joints from ongoing pain and permanent damage of uncontrolled inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment can save more than joints. Some types of arthritis can cause internal damage to the heart and other organs from the start. Prompt treatment can protect your overall health.1

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been commissioned and brought to you by iNova Pharmaceuticals. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

Name and business address of the holder of the certificate of registration: iNova Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd,. Co. Reg. No.1952/001640/07, 15e Riley Road, Bedfordview. Tel. No. 011 087 0000. For further information, speak to your healthcare professional. Further information is available on request from iNova Pharmaceuticals. IN4480/23


  1. Arthritis Foundation. Do I Have Arthritis? [online] [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  2. Arthritis Foundation. What is Arthritis? [online] 9 June 2022 [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  3. Mayo Clinic. Arthritis. Overview. [online] [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  4. Factors that Increases Risk of Getting Arthritis. [online] 16 April 2021 [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  5. Joint Health. Arthritis: A Woman’s disease? [online] July 2021 [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  6. Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis Causes. [online] [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  7. Difflam Gel. [online] 1 January 2008 [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL: http://www.myvmc.comdrugsdifflam-gel/.
  8. Cleveland Clinic. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicines (NSAIDs). [online] 25 January 2020 [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL:
  9. Mayo Clinic. Arthritis. Diagnosis. [online] [Cited] November 2022. Available from URL: