What are the most common types of arthritis?

If you're dealing with arthritis pain, you're not alone. Learn about the different types of arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition where joints become inflamed or painful due to inflammation. There are several types of arthritis, each affecting the body in different ways. Learn more about the various forms of arthritis and their symptoms.

1. Osteoarthritic Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the deterioration of the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that acts as a cushion between the bones. The absence of this cushion can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness as the bones rub against one another. This condition usually affects the hand, knee, hip, and spine.

The breakdown of cartilage causes pain, and the inflammation of the joints causes stiffness. The swelling is caused by the buildup of fluid in the joints.

Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. A person may develop it at any age, but it is more prevalent over the age of 50. In addition, osteoarthritis is more prevalent in women than in men.

Treatments are available that can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but there is no cure for this disease. There are many different treatments for osteoarthritis, including over-the-counter and prescription medications, physical therapy, weight loss, and surgery. Some people with osteoarthritis find relief with natural remedies such as acupuncture or glucosamine supplements.

2. Rheumatoid arthritides

A disease caused by an autoimmune process, rheumatoid arthritis (RA for short) permanently causes joint inflammation. As a result of this chronic condition, joints become deformed over time. The condition can affect any joint in the body, several at the same time, and typically the damage to the joints is never unilateral, usually developing symmetrically on both sides.

RA is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking itself, unlike osteoarthritis, which is caused by cartilage wear and tear.

Genetics and environmental factors are believed to contribute to RA, though its exact cause is unknown. It has been suggested, but while there is no definitive evidence to support this theory, some experts believe that viral or bacterial infections may trigger the disease among genetically predisposed individuals.

As people age, rheumatoid arthritis usually worsens joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Even though rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, several treatments can assist in managing its symptoms and slowing its progression. The most common treatment is medication, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Other treatments may include physical therapy, exercise, and lifestyle changes.


3. Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that causes severe pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. It is most commonly found in the big toe but can also affect the ankles, knees, elbows, hands, and feet.

Gout occurs when uric acid buildup in the body forms crystals in the joints, causing intense pain and inflammation. Uric acid is produced as a waste product when purines are broken down by the body. Purines are found in many foods, including meats, seafood, and some vegetables. A high level of uric acid in the blood can cause crystals to form in the joints, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.

The most common cause of gout is an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, though it can also be caused by genetics or a poor diet. Gout treatment typically involves pain relief, anti-inflammatory medication, and avoiding triggers such as alcohol and certain foods.

4. Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and skin. It is a form of arthritis that develops in people who have psoriasis, a condition that causes the skin to become red and scaly.

Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. It can also lead to deformities in the fingers and toes. Inflammation of other body parts, such as the eyes, lungs, and heart, may also be associated with this condition.

In spite of the fact that psoriatic arthritis does not have a cure, there are specific treatments that can relieve symptoms and slow down the disease’s progression.


5. Juvenile arthritis

It is common for children with juvenile arthritis to manifest no symptoms. If the inflammation affects a joint with no movement restriction and no swelling, the disease may remain hidden for a long time.

Joint swelling, pain, and stiffness are warning signs, especially after waking up in the morning or after resting for a long period of time. Exercise or heat can relieve the pain, and the skin over the swollen joints appears red. Suspicion may arise if the child becomes less active, avoids favorite activities, or limps intermittently. Malaise, fever, weakness, and appetite loss are some of the general symptoms of the disease.

To sum up

Consequently, arthritis can affect people of all ages. There are a number of symptoms that can indicate arthritis, so if you believe you may suffer from this condition, do not hesitate to seek medical assistance. It is difficult to manage arthritis in a one-size-fits-all manner, but with the right treatment plan, one can live an active and healthy life.