Arthritis is a degenerative disease that is characterised by joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, and a restricted range of motion. It is an umbrella term used for these issues that can affect just about any joint in the body. There are different types of arthritis, and some rare types of arthritis that may have specific symptoms.
The cause of several arthritis types is unknown to experts. However, the likelihood of developing arthritis disease can increase because of certain risk factors. Arthritis is common in people who also have obesity, diabetes, or heart disease. Certain risk factors are under your control, while others are not. You can reduce your risk of developing arthritis or aggravating it if you already have it by modifying the risk factors that you can control.
Arthritis pain and other symptoms can be treated and managed, but there is no cure. Treatment options include prescription drugs, non-drug therapies including physical therapy or patient education, and even surgery. To lessen discomfort, avoid or delay disability, and enhance general quality of life, it is crucial to manage the symptoms of arthritis.
There are various forms of arthritis. The following are examples of the most common types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent kind of arthritis. Many of us experience it as we age. Because it results in the deterioration of bones and cartilage, it is occasionally referred to as degenerative arthritis. This creates stiffness and pain. The fingers and weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, foot, hips, and back, are typically affected by osteoarthritis. Both men and women can have it, and it typically starts around the age of 45 years. In addition to painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, treatments may also involve exercise, applying heat or cold, self-help techniques, and sometimes even surgery.
Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a type of arthritis in which the immune system targets healthy joint tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis affects not only the joints but also the surrounding tissues and organs. The symptoms seen include severe, debilitating swelling in joints such as the hands, wrists, and knees. There is tissue damage as well, which can result in persistent, long-term pain, loss of balance, or physical changes, as well as impact nearby tissues such as the lungs, heart, or eyes. Women are more likely than men to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Therapies include anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying medicines, exercise, heat or cold, energy conservation techniques, joint protection, self-help mechanisms, and, in certain cases, surgery.
Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis. Some people have mild cases with only sporadic flare-ups. In others, it persists and, if left untreated, can harm joints. Early detection is critical to avoiding joint damage. It is more common in those with skin psoriasis, although it can happen to anyone, especially those with psoriasis in their family. Men and women are equally susceptible. Major joints are affected, particularly those in the lower extremities, along with minor joints in the fingers and toes, the spine, and the pelvic sacroiliac joints. It can also affect the eyes, tendons, nails, and gastrointestinal system. For most patients, the right treatments will reduce discomfort, safeguard the joints, and preserve mobility. Physical activity promotes joint mobility.
Gout: Gout is a severe form of arthritis characterised by a build-up, overflow, and/or inability to metabolise uric acid. The big toe is typically where symptoms first appear acutely and swiftly. These ‘attacks’ can last anywhere between three and ten days and might happen months or years apart. If not treated, episodes can worsen, happen more frequently, and harm your kidneys and joints. NSAIDs, colchicine, and corticosteroids are all effective treatments for controlling sudden bouts of joint pain. There are drugs that can gradually lower the level of uric acid after gout flares have subsided, preventing or reducing episodes. Lifestyle adjustments such as losing weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding purine-rich foods can also help reduce gout.
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain as well as tender spots, which are areas of the body that are particularly sensitive to pain. It can also cause tiredness, sleep disturbances, stiffness, and, in certain cases, psychological distress. It most commonly affects middle-aged women, but it can afflict people of any gender and at any age. Fibromyalgia affects 2%–4% of the general population. It is quite prevalent and frequently misdiagnosed. Although there is no treatment for fibromyalgia, help from health experts can improve quality of life. Exercise, relaxation techniques, activity pacing, and self-help skills are all essential parts of fibromyalgia treatment.
Low back pain: Back injuries or certain forms of arthritis can cause low back pain. Lower back pain is more common in Indians than in the rest of the world, especially among women. But men are also susceptible to it. Low back pain can happen at any age. The use of painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicines, exercise, the application of heat or cold to joints, pacing your activities, and self-help techniques are all forms of treatment.
Bursitis and tendinitis: Bursitis and tendinitis are caused by joint irritation induced by injury or overuse. Bursitis is an inflammation of a tiny sac that allows muscles to move freely; tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones. Anti-inflammatory medicines, heat or cold, and exercise are among the treatments.
Other types of arthritis are:
Ankylosing spondylitis: Also known as axial spondyloarthritis, this is an inflammatory disease, which can eventually result in the fusion of some of the spinal vertebrae. The spine loses flexibility due to this fusion, which can lead to a stooped posture. The posture can constrict breathing deeply and freely. Symptoms usually appear in early adulthood. Other bodily parts, most frequently the eyes, might also experience inflammation. Ankylosing spondylitis cannot be cured with the current medicine sciences; however, treatment plans can help control and manage the symptoms and can even prevent disease advancement.
Childhood arthritis: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, often known as JIA or juvenile arthritis, refers to a group of arthritis that all involve chronic (long-term) joint inflammation. This inflammation usually develops before patients reach the age of 16, and if symptoms remain for more than 6 weeks, the condition is classified as chronic. JIA can affect one or more joints, as well as the eyes. Other symptoms include fevers and rashes. Juvenile arthritis can result in lifelong joint damage. The child may become disabled because of this damage, which can make it difficult for them to do daily tasks like dressing or walking. Pain and inflammation are controlled, function is improved, and harm is avoided.
Polymyalgia rheumatica: Aching and stiffness in the upper arms, neck, lower back, and thighs are common polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms. These symptoms appear suddenly and worsen in the morning. Polymyalgia rheumatica may be difficult to diagnose because it does not frequently cause inflamed joints. It may arise in conjunction with another medical condition known as giant cell arteritis. Low dosages of corticosteroids quickly alleviate the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica, but as the dose is reduced, the symptoms may return.
Types of Arthritis FAQs:
What are the 8 types of arthritis?
There are over 100 types of identified arthritis. However, the most common arthritis types are gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lower back pain, bursitis, and tendonitis. Other kinds of arthritis are ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and lupus erythematosus.
How do I know which type of arthritis I have?
A physical exam in which your doctor will look for swollen joints, pain, redness, warmth, or joint motion loss, and X-rays can frequently reveal what arthritis type you have. In addition to asking you about your medical history, your doctor may also decide to conduct lab tests.
What is the most serious form of arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects joints as well as other nearby tissues, including organs, is among the most painful arthritis type. An inflammatory, autoimmune condition mistakenly targets healthy cells, which can cause painful swelling in the hands, wrists, and knees.