Arthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage of a joint, which can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, instability and often deformity. Severe arthritis interferes with a person’s activities and limits his or her lifestyle. Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease – This is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis,” since the cartilage simply wears out. When cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone causing severe pain and disability. Inflammatory Arthritis – This arthritis presents as swelling and heat (inflammation) of the joint lining, which causes a release of enzymes that soften and eventually destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.