Arthritis Types

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions, and there are more than one hundred identifiable types. These types vary based on their underlying causes and symptoms produced. Regardless of the type, most forms of arthritis affect the joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and cartilage. Some types, in the advanced stages, can affect the body's organs.

The symptoms of arthritis will depend on the cause and the type. If the cause of arthritis is an autoimmune condition, then the symptoms may occur suddenly and aggressively. Many people with autoimmune forms of arthritis will experience alternating periods of flare-ups and remission. If the cause of arthritis is related to aging, then the symptoms will occur gradually - sometimes over a period of years. No matter the type of arthritis that you experience, the symptoms will vary based on other factors, including your overall health.

Regardless of the type of arthritis, common symptoms include pain, swelling in the tissue and joints, stiffness, and diminished flexibility. People with arthritis tend to experience an aching sensation that may improve or worsen as a result of factors that include weather, time of day, movement, and physical activity.

Arthritis can be localized to one part of the body, or it can affect multiple joints in multiple places. The common areas that are affected by arthritis include the back, neck, hip, knee, elbow, fingers, toes, and wrists. Depending on the condition's severity, the different types of arthritis can cause the bones to become severely disfigured.

Certain other conditions can cause symptoms that are similar to arthritis. These include osteoporosis, hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, multiple myeloma, and fifth disease. You may need to undergo tests to rule out these alternate conditions.

Osteoarthritis

This type of arthritis occurs when the joints break down from wear and tear. The cartilage wears down as a result of old age or injury. The symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain, stiffness, cracking, and locking.

Overweight people have a tendency to experience symptoms that are more severe because of the additional pressure placed upon the bones.

Many people with osteoarthritis have trouble moving and will feel less inspired to exercise. Because of this movement limitation, people with osteoarthritis will experience muscle and cartilage degeneration. To combat this process, many people with arthritis require extensive physical therapy.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its own cartilage and tendons between the joints. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely painful and difficult to live with, especially since people can become affected at such a young age. In any case, many people are able to continue with their lives and maintain their daily routines. With treatment, patience, and perseverance, it is possible to keep the condition under control.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and swelling and can leave the patient permanently disabled. This condition can sometimes result in organ damage. People of all ages can develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Gout

This condition is a sudden and severe attack that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Gout is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. It often begins in the joint of the big toe, but the condition can occur in any joint.

Medical professionals suspect that hyperuricemia, an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood, has a strong link with gout. High levels of uric acid are related to diet and can result from sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy, seafood, and vegetable intake.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This condition causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and other complications in the spine. Eventually, the bones in the spine will fuse together as a result of the condition. Ankylosing spondylitis begins in the lower back and hip and eventually progresses throughout the spine. Pain might be worse at certain times of the day.

Psoriatic Arthritis

This condition is similar to rheumatoid arthritis and tends to affect the fingers. With this type of arthritis, a rash will accompany the arthritis pain. Psoriasis is a rare condition that affects a small portion of the population.

Juvenile Arthritis

This type of arthritis affects children. Most children who have juvenile arthritis will develop symptoms of a sudden fever and swelling knuckles. Juvenile arthritis patients may also develop a rash. Many children who develop this form of rheumatoid arthritis will recover completely, while others face a lifelong chronic condition.

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