Arthritis is inflammation that occurs in one or more joints of the body. Major symptoms and signs of arthritis include pain and stiffness in the affected joint or joints, and these symptoms typically get more severe as a person grows older. There are various types of arthritis, but three of the most common type of the disease are:
- Osteoarthritis (OA): Most people have this form of arthritis. It is a degenerative condition of the joints that worsens over time. In this form of arthritis, the joint cartilage breaks down.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Such diagnosis affects many of the body’s joints at once and causes the membranes that line the joints to become inflamed. This damages the joints and can cause swelling, stiffness, warmth, and pain.
- Juvenile Arthritis (JA): This is a broad term used to describe the multiple autoimmune conditions which are inflammatory and can occur in children who are 16 years old or younger.
Arthritis cannot be treated, but symptoms can be controlled, and the quality of life can be improved for patients who have the condition.
OTHER TYPES OF ARTHRITIS AND RELATED CONDITIONS
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This is a chronic inflammatory disorder that primarily affects the ligaments, muscles, and bones of the spine. It leads to stiffness and pain. Associated problems may include swelling in the eyes, large joints, and tendons.
- Fibromyalgia: This type of arthritis leads to pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Lupus: This can affect many organs and tissues in the body. It is an autoimmune disorder.
- Gout: A gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid. The crystals that form from the uric acid are deposited in the joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. It often occurs in the big toe, but it can develop in any of the body’s joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis: This is a form of arthritis that sometimes occurs in individuals who have psoriasis.
- Enteropathic arthritis: This is a type of arthritis that is associated with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Most commonly, this condition affects the joints of the arms and legs and the spinal column.
- Reactive arthritis: This type of arthritis typically develops after an infection involving the genital tract, the bowel, or the throat (less common). It can cause the joints, the urethra, and the eyes to become inflamed.
- Secondary arthritis: This form of arthritis develops following an injury to a joint. Sometimes it can occur several years following the injury.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica: This is a disorder of the immune system causing inflammation of the joints and muscle stiffness and pain. It primarily affects individuals older than 50.