The Different Types of Arthritis

3 minute read

People often hear the word arthritis and think it is all one disabling symptom that is caused by old age. However, there is more than one type of arthritis, and age does not always play a factor in it. Many people believe that a treatment that can be found common on the market will treat their symptoms. This might not be true as there are over a hundred different types of arthritis. While there might be similar symptoms, the cause and the cure for each one can be very different.

The most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, Fibromyalgia, and childhood arthritis.

Osteoarthritis: This is often the type of arthritis that encourages the myth that arthritis is only caused by old age. This is the degenerative form of the disease as it affects the weight bearing joints as they wear down with prolonged use. It can also be caused by obesity, by playing sports for long periods of time such as professional athletes, or sports injuries that affect the joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: This version is an autoimmune disease that often attacks women more than men. About 75% of those that are affected are women. It is inflammatory, and the chronic inflammation can lead to deformities over time and nodules that develop on the skin. It often develops on joints that receive a lot of pressure, such as the knees, knuckles, heels, and ankles. While there is no cure, there are ways to relieve the discomfort and pressure that is often found in afflicted areas.

Gout: Excessive alcohol intake is the most common way to develop Gout. This form of arthritis is a rheumatic disease that is caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the fluid parts of the body. It is also an inflammatory version that is more visual than the other forms of arthritis. Acute gout can be seen in the feet and ankles as red and swollen, where you can depress the skin around the area and notice the difference. These flare ups of swollen and painful tissue can be controlled with change to the diet and with medication.

Fibromyalgia: Muscle fatigue is a common symptom of Fibromyalgia, as is sleep problems and fatigue. The pain can be widespread instead of centralized in one area like other forms of arthritis. There are also problems abnormal pain processing, psychological distress, morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. Medication and exercise can help relieve many of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, depending on the severity of the pain. Another key note is that women are also afflicted more often than men, on average 7 to 1.

Childhood arthritis: There is much discussion when it comes to Childhood arthritis because it happens to be a blanket term that covers several different forms of arthritis found in children. The difference is that in most cases, once the child reaches a certain age, the symptoms are gone, and there seems to be no other effect. This is not always the case, but most children outgrow many of the forms by the time they are sixteen.