What You Should Know About the Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis, Orthopaedic Podiatric & Spine Institute, he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis? The term arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to conditions that affect your joints or the tissues surrounding your joints. There are two broad categories of arthritic diseases: degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis.

Regardless of the type of arthritis, the symptoms likely include pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints. You’re likely to experience pain that disrupts your life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 30% of those with arthritis say it limits what they can do both at work and for fun.

The five most common forms of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis (OA)

One of the most well-known and widespread forms of arthritis is OA. It causes the cartilage inside your joints, which protect the bones and allow them to glide across each other smoothly, begins to break down.

OA affects some 30 million adults in the United States and is the most common form of arthritis. It usually affects the hands, hips, or knees. It is a degenerative form of arthritis and develops slowly, over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

You may not have ever thought about your immune system and arthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks your joints. Normally, your immune system helps to fight off viruses and bacteria and keeps you healthy.

If you have RA, your immune system treats the synovium, which is the slippery lining of your joints, as if it were a virus or bacteria. Your synovium becomes inflamed and over time the inflammation begins to damage your joints.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

Psoriatic arthritis is similar to RA in that it is also an immune disorder that involves inflammation. Instead of primarily attacking the lining of your joints, psoriatic arthritis affects the connective tissue of your joints, like your tendons and ligaments. It also affects your skin.

Fibromyalgia

Roughly 4 million adults in the United States have fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain and stiffness throughout the body. Not everyone who has fibromyalgia experiences the same symptoms, with the exception of pain. If you have fibromyalgia, you’ll have pain and you may also experience:

Gout

Like psoriatic arthritis and RA, gout is an inflammatory type of arthritis. However, it’s not generally widespread and usually occurs in the joint of your big toe, but can affect other joints instead.

If you have gout, you tend to have flares—you may feel okay when you wake up in the morning but be in terrible pain by the time you’re ready to go to bed. Being male or obese increases your risk of developing gout.

Regardless of the type of arthritis you have, you’re probably interested in how it can be treated. The team at Orthopaedic Podiatric & Spine Institute considers your specific situation as they craft a treatment plan.

The severity of your pain, how advanced your arthritis is, and other factors help to shape your treatment. Common treatments for arthritis include:

There is no cure for arthritis, but there are many approaches to manage your symptoms and that may slow the progression of the disease. If you’re ready to begin exploring the treatment options available, book your appointment at Orthopaedic Podiatric & Spine Institute online or by phone today.

 

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