There are more than 100 types of Arthritis and all of these pose unique problems for diagnosis and treatment. It’s a disorder that affects more than 50 million U.S. adults – a number that’s expected to increase to 67 million adults by the year 2030. Most types involve joint inflammation.
Let’s examine the most common types of arthritis:
Also known as degenerative arthritis, it is the most common type, many times called ‘wear-and-tear’ arthritis that is caused by the combination of several factors. This type mostly affects weight-bearing areas such as the spine, hips, knees and feet and is strongly related to aging.
Other important factors are genetics, obesity and mechanical injuries. Pain and limited motion are the most common symptoms of Osteoarthritis. It affects more than 35 million Americans and is the most common chronic joint condition.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:
- abnormal alignment of the joints
- athletics (wear-and-tear and injuries from sports and athletics)
- changing forces (putting weight on one knee or hip)
Most common symptoms:
- deep, aching pain in a joint
- difficulty sitting or bending over
Other common type that affects joints in any part of the body, hands, wrists and knees are affected most of the time. The rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It is a long-lasting disease that is hard to treat.
With rheumatoid arthritis the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself and causes the joint lining to swell. The inflammation then spreads to the surrounding tissues, and can eventually damage cartilage and bone. In most severe cases also eyes, skin and nerves can be affected.
Because this type of arthritis can do a lot of damage, early diagnosis is critical. More than 1.4 million Americans are affected by this type of arthritis; 75% of those affected are women.
This common form of arthritis is caused by the accumulation of needlelike crystals made of urate within the joint. These excess crystals in the joints then cause swelling and sever pain. Gout mostly affects the biggest joints in the body as knees, elbows and wrists. The causative factors of this type of arthritis are diet, drugs and genetics.
Very similar to gout arthritis, however the underlying problem is different. Pseudogout is due to the accumulation of calcium deposits within the joint.
Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is another common type and it is associated with swollen toes, ankles, elbows, and shoulders and of course severe pain. Limited motion can show up as well. Chills and intermittent fever, sometimes body rash are other symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.