The term arthritis refers to the symptom of inflammation of one or more joints, and there are over 100 types of arthritis. In general, early signs of arthritis are swelling, warmth, redness of the skin overlying a joint, pain, and restriction of motion. The early symptoms of arthritis are often very slight and gradually increase in intensity over the course of many years. At first, early symptoms might produce pain or stiffness only after strenuous work or exercise, but these early arthritis symptoms can deteriorate to constant and chronic pain. With rheumatoid or other inflammatory arthritis, joint involvement tends to be symmetrical, occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body. Although pain and stiffness can be brought on by a minor injury or overuse, these usually abate with rest and recuperation.