Types of Arthritis

As mentioned earlier, arthritis comes in a number of types.  The most common of these forms include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis – Known throughout the medical field as the most degenerative type of joint disease, osteoarthritis refers to the condition characterized by inflammation and pain caused by the loss of joint’s cartilage.  According to several researches and studies, this medical threat is so far the most well-known in the United States, affecting more than 21 million of adults and elderly in the country.

Osteoarthritis can affect multiple parts of the body.  It can affect almost any joint in the body, involving the knees, spine and hips.  Other than that, the pain may also develop on the fingers and any joints previously affected by inflammation, trauma or types of infection.

It is further important to note that osteoarthritis develops often as part of the aging process.  However, the condition is typically associated with broken bones, making it also possible for the young adults.  Those who are engaged into some forms of intense athletic activity are prone to this.


  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Defined as a systemic form of inflammatory disorder, the rheumatoid arthritis or RA is the type which develops itself in a number of joints.  In the first place, it is known to affect the so-called “synovial membrane” which simply is the lining of the joints.  It can inflame other organs though other than that lining.

When the rheumatoid inflammation occurs, it is expected for every joint lining to develop erosions particularly on the bone and cartilage of the joints.  This is what in turn leads to the deformity on the joints itself.  And, when this happens, symptoms like swelling, redness and pain manifest.

RA or rheumatoid arthritis is said to be caused by a particular error on the body’s immune response.  It can start even at an early age, and is also associated with prolonged stiffness following a prolonged rest and fatigue.  No cure is noted for this condition although there are some medications proven to lessen the inflammation.


  • Crystal Arthritis – Commonly known as Gout, this type of arthritis is a rheumatic disease that occurs as a result of the disposition of uric acid crystals in the fluids and tissues of the body.  Simply put, this disorder is brought by either an overproduction or excretion of the monosodium urate or the uric acid itself.  It is believed to be intensified by the intake of dietary foods and certain medications.

It is typical for the gout to manifest in the form of swollen, red and hot joint often coupled with an intense pain around the affected area.  It can be treated, however, with particular anti-inflammatory medicines designed to be taken orally, and it can be minimized when proper diet and medication is obtained.  Note that a recurrent attack of this condition may result to a more complicated medical threat known as the “gouty arthritis”.


  • Infectious Arthritis – This type refers basically to a number of ailments affecting larger parts or joints of legs and arms, as well as toes and fingers.  Several researches and clinical studies have revealed that this condition is often caused by the invasion of bacteria and virus on the joints.  These viruses and bacteria usually are transmitted from another disease including tuberculosis, lyme disease, staph infection and gonorrhea.  There are also some claims stating that infectious arthritis may develop as a result of an injury complication.

When it comes to symptoms and severity of this infectious type, you may find the condition to manifest only unnoticed.  Yes, this is possible since the condition itself is masked by another disease or injury.  Given this fact, the infectious arthritis should be treated as soon as detected since if left ignored can cause to permanent disability.


  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – An autoimmune disorder, this type of arthritis develops once the immune systems on the body emit antibodies to the living cells within the system.  This emission is what leads to inflammation and damage on the bodily tissues.  What specifically triggers the SLE to occur is left unknown to the medical industry, but certain researches have revealed that it could be associated to environmental, genetic, and hormonal actions.  Once manifested, the disorder is characterized by attacks of remissions and illnesses.  People affected by this condition may also suffer from swelling and pain on the joints, fevers, fatigue, and skin rashes.

It is further interesting to know that the systemic lupus, as it is commonly addressed, typically occurs in women aging from 15 to 40 years old.  In terms of races, studies have it that blacks are often affected than whites.   And, being a serious medical threat, the system lupus or SLE can affect not just the joints of the body but also other organs including the brain, blood vessels, kidneys and lungs.

Several other forms of arthritis are noted and reports by several medical researches and studies.  The above mentioned, however, are the most common, affecting more than a million of people in the United States alone.

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