Arthritis is one of the most common ailments that people in the United States have to fight against. Joint pain, loss of movement and inflammation are all common and dealt with by millions.
However, not all arthritis types are created equal. There are many different forms of arthritis that a person can get.
The causes are also varied. Some are degenerative, some autoimmune, some are caused by uric acid within the body. No matter what the cause of the form of arthritis is, it’s troubling to the sufferer and often will need treatment. What follows are just some of the various types of arthritis that people can suffer from.
1 - Osteoarthritis
This is the most common form of arthritis. In fact it’s so common that more people get osteoarthritis than every other form added together. This is a progressive disease where the joint cartilage and bone in the joints slowly break down. As joints are continually asked to perform duties, they slowly break down. Heavy workloads or stresses on joints for extended periods and years often result in osteoarthritis. People tend to get osteoarthritis in the hips, knees, hands, spine and big toes.
2 - Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the second most common type of arthritis. While it features many of the same symptoms as osteoarthritis, the causes are very different. RA is an autoimmune disease. This means the body’s immune system is incorrectly identifying and attempting to attack parts of the body. In this case, the lining of the joints is seen as a foreign entity and to be removed. This can cause high levels of inflammation, stiffness and pain in the affected joints. Treatments focus on suppressing the immune system to a lower and more manageable level.
3 - Psoriatic Arthritis
This is a type of arthritis that specifically occurs to people who are suffering from Psoriasis. This skin condition is another autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the skin of the body. Somewhere between 1 to 3 in 10 people who have psoriasis will end up with psoriatic arthritis as well. While this can’t be cured, the right medications can make a big difference in treatment. Exercise and properly protecting joints can help with treating and handling this form of arthritis.
4 - Ankylosing Spondylitis
This rare form of arthritis tends to focus on the spine and the joints of the pelvis which attach to the spine. This is also an autoimmune disease with the body’s immune system attacking the healthy tissue involved. Specifically, the immune system targets the tendons and ligaments which are attached to a person’s spine. This damages the bone, and the body tries to make new bone. However, this new bone ends up fusing with the other bone in the spine, reducing the ability to move. While not being common, ankylosing spondylitis can be a troublesome and severe form of arthritis.
5 - Gout
This type of arthritis is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. This acid forms into crystals, which then deposit themselves in the joints. In turn, the body’s immune system will attack the uric crystals. This ends up being painful and causes swelling in the joint and tissue around it. Unlike some other forms of arthritis, Gout can come in cycles. Active attack periods of gout can vary greatly in length and their severity.
6 - Reactive Arthritis
This form of arthritis is quite different from some of the others on this list. Reactive arthritis is directly related to other problems in the body. Reactive arthritis is caused by previous infections in the body interfering with a person’s joints. Joints in the body become very sore and stiff. Also unlike some other arthritis types, this form tends to only affect one joint to start. However, the arthritis can spread to other joints if left untreated. Some of the infections which can cause reactive arthritis include chlamydia and food poisoning.