Understand Different Type of Arthritis

Understand Different Type of Arthritis

The first word that comes to your mind after hearing the word, arthritis is the joint pain. That is correct because arthritis is the inflammation of joints. This inflammation causes a debilitating joint pain.

Do you know there are nearly 100 types of joints pain, which are related to arthritis?

Arthritis is so common that it has affected over 50 million American adults and more than 300,000 children as studied by Arthritis Foundation. But not all these conditions are same in every case.

If you are the verge of arthritis or are currently suffering from arthritis, it is better to find the treatment by management strategies. For that, you should know which type of arthritis are you having. For the general information on the common types of arthritis, read the following.

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which has affected 27 million people only in the United States. The Arthritis Foundation has named this to be arthritis, which affected nearly every other person in the USA.

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage of your joints breaks down. It causes the bones to wipe against each other and the result is inflammation. For this mechanism, factors like age, obesity, injuries, family history, and joint overuse can make the situation worse. The most common symptoms of osteoporosis include the following.

  • Soreness of joints
  • Feeling stiffness in joints in mornings
  • Reduced body coordination
  • Possible risk of disability

If you are doubtful that you have osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor. He will take your medical history and check you through a detailed physical exam. He may recommend other tests i.e. Xrays and body scan too.

If only a particular joint is affected, he is more likely to take a sample of fluid from inside to check for the presence of any infection.

RELATED: Osteoarthritis- A Comprehensive Guide

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Second most common type of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease that directly relates to the joint problems. The body attacks your healthy joint tissues and makes them affected.

The Arthritis Foundation of USA estimates that nearly 1.5 million young adults are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in the USA. It is more common in women than in men. The reason is yet unknown.

The most common signs of having rheumatoid arthritis are;

  • Feeling morning stiffness
  • Joint pains
  • Deformity of joints

Other than these, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may appear on other parts of the body too. It includes heart, lungs, kidney, eyes or skin. A condition called Sjogren syndrome is more likely to occur along with rheumatoid arthritis. It dries the mouth and eyes.

The common problems of rheumatoid arthritis include

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Nodules formation under the skin
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Tingling of hands and feet

RELATED: Rheumatoid Arthritis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

How to diagnose Rheumatoid arthritis?

There is not any single test that can tell you about your body’s condition. The doctor cannot recommend any test to check for rheumatoid arthritis. To develop a diagnosis, your medical history, a physical exam and imaging tests are required.

The doctor may also recommend you to take;

  • Rheumatoid factor test (RF test)
  • Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) test
  • Complete blood count or CBC test
  • C reactive protein or CRP test
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR

These tests will help the doctor to diagnose your problem correctly.

  • Juvenile arthritis (JA)

The type of arthritis, which affects children only s called juvenile arthritis (JA). It affects the children younger than 16 years of age. In the USA, the prevalence of juvenile arthritis is 300,000, which is estimated by Arthritis Foundation of USA.

Juvenile arthritis is not just one disease. It is a term used for a number of conditions that affect children’s joints. The most common of them is called “juvenile idiopathic arthritis” which is an autoimmune disease. It impacts the joints of children.

The muscles and soft tissues of the body become tighter, the bones erode and growth patterns eventually change. The worst is the misalign of joints. Some other conditions in juvenile arthritis are as follows.

  • Juvenile lupus
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis
  • Still’s disease
  • Juvenile scleroderma
  • Kawasaki disease

RELATED: Top 5 Essential Oils For Arthritis

  • Spondyloarthropathies

Spondylarthropathies such as Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and other types are all autoimmune conditions. They attack the location where the tendons attach to the ligament inside the body. The symptoms may appear to be a simple i.e. pain, stiffness, inflammation, especially in the lower back.

The pain in lower back indicates that the lower back is affected the most. However, there are chances for it to affect hands and feet too. The fusion of all these problems can deform the bones, especially the backbone. It also causes the dysfunction of shoulders and hipbones.

You are more likely to suffer from Spondylarthropathies if there is a family history of it. It is hereditary. The people which develop Spondylarthropathies particularly the Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have a specific gene inside their body. It is called HLA-B27 gene and it is forwarded to next generation.

For some reason, having Caucasian ascendants have a higher risk of it. Also, women are significantly less affected than men. This prevalence factor of Spondylarthropathies is not well studied yet.

There are other conditions, which are related to the presence of HLA-B27 gene. It means that inheritance of this gene will bring not just Spondylarthropathies but another disease too. They include the following.

  • Reactive arthritis which is also known as Reiter’s syndrome
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Uveitis
  • Enteropathic arthropathy
  • And juvenile arthritis rarely

  • Lupus erythematosus

Lupus erythematosus is also called systemic lupus. It is also an autoimmune disease, which affects the joints and other connective tissues of the body. It has a greater potential to damage the skin, kidney, lungs, brain and other visceral organs.

Lupus erythematosus is more prevalent in women and particularly higher in African or Asian ancestry. It is less common in men. The basic symptoms of Lupus erythematosus include joint pain and inflammation. Some other symptoms of the disease are as follows.

  • Pain in chest
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Hair loss
  • Stress
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin Rashes
  • Sensitivity to sun
  • Swollen lymph nodes

The patient suffering from Lupus erythematosus may experience a few or all of them at a time. The symptoms gradually increase when the disease is progressed. It is important to get diagnosed at the right time to make the treatment even better.

RELATED: What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

  • Gout

Not many people know this but gout is also a type of arthritis. It is a condition in which urate crystals are accumulated inside the joints. The levels of uric acids in the bloodstream are increased which increase the risk of gout.

It is common but not as common as other types of arthritis. Nearly 3.9% population USA is suffering from gout. It includes 5.9% of the men and only 2.0% of the women. The ratio of male to female is very low which shows that most men are the victims of it.

It can be a very painful condition, which makes you uncomfortable. The most common joint to be affected is the big toe of the foot. It can also affect other joints but to have a pain in the toe is incredibly painful. The affected joint will show redness, swelling, and pain. You may sometimes confuse it with an injury.

The most likely joints to be affected by gout are as follows.

  • Toes
  • Ankles
  • Hands
  • Wrist
  • Feet
  • Knees
  • Elbows

The painful attack in gout may last for 12-24 hours but the pain never ends. It gets worse over the time and the only solution to get over it is to seek medical help.

RELATED: Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Infectious and reactive arthritis

Surprisingly, there is a type of arthritis, which is infectious or septic. It is the type of joint pain when you feel the extreme swelling. The inside story tells about a possible bacteria, viral or fungal attack.

It doesn’t always start from the joints. Chances are that the infection starts in any other part of the body and spreads to the joints. This type of arthritis often shows fever, pain, and chills.

Reactive arthritis is when the infection of any one part of the body induces inflammation in any other joint of the body. This type of infection spread usually occurs in the bladder or genital areas. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition based on the blood sample, urine sample and fluid from affected joint’s reports.

The Takeaway

These are only a few diseases, which are categorized under a larger umbrella of arthritis. Yet there are many diseases, which cause extreme joint pain. Some of them are;

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scleroderma

If you are also experiencing a joint pain, stiffness, or any other similar symptoms, it is the right time to talk to your doctor. Only he can help to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend an effective treatment plan accordingly.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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