Arthritis affects millions of people worldwide and occurs when the cartilage that cushions and protects the ends of your bones gets worn down.
Although arthritis can affect any joint, it commonly affects your hands, knees, and hips. These areas become stiff, sore, and aggravated by inflammation. This inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and is essential — without it, simple infections or wounds could be deadly.
But excessive inflammation also occurs in response to unwanted substances in the body. Toxins such as cigarette smoke or a persistent bad diet can increase the body’s inflammatory response.