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What Are The Different Arthritis

Arthritis Management In Grand Junction Co

What are the different types of arthritis?

Arthritis pain and stiffness can hinder you from performing your normal everyday activities and your profession. Although a cure for arthritis has yet to be discovered, many treatment options are available to manage its symptoms.

Our medical team here at WorkPartners Occupational Health in Grand Junction, Colorado, offers comprehensive diagnostic care and treatment for your arthritis. Our board-certified doctors and physical therapists are always ready to provide the best treatment for your joint problems.

If you have any questions about our medical services or would like to find out more, contact us today by calling our friendly staff at 241-5585. You may also fill out our online request form. Let us help your team get back to work and back to life in no time!

What Is A Joint And How Does It Work

A joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, knees, and shoulders. Joints hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.

Most of the joints in our body are surrounded by a strong capsule. The capsule is filled with a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. These capsules hold our bones in place. They do this with the help of ligaments. These are a bit like very strong elastic bands.

The ends of the bones within a joint are lined with cartilage. This is a smooth but tough layer of tissue that allows bones to glide over one another as you move.

If we want to move a bone, our brain gives a signal to the muscle, which then pulls a tendon, and this is attached to the bone. Muscles therefore have an important role in supporting a joint.

Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Knee

Osteoarthritis is characterized by cartilage degeneration and bony protrusions called osteophytes . In the knee, the most common sites of osteoarthritis include the tibia , femur , and patella .

The most common type of arthritis affecting the knee is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when a joints articular cartilage breaks down. In the knee, articular cartilage covers the top of the tibia , bottom of the femur , and back of the patella .

Not everyone with knee osteoarthritis will get knee pain. Pain may occur if the loss of healthy cartilage:

  • Causes the bones of the joint to rub against one another.
  • Compromises the joints biomechanics in some other way.

See Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Post-traumatic knee arthritisPost-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. It develops after a meniscus tear, ligament injury, or other trauma. The injury may heal but wear-and-tear on the articular cartilage can accelerate. Post-traumatic arthritis may not become symptomatic until years after the injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that targets the synovial membrane surrounding many joints of the body. Some of the most common areas affected include the wrists, knees, and ankles.

Knee pain can be caused by an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis . RA causes joint inflammation that can make the knee feel swollen, stiff, warm, and painful. Over time, untreated RA can cause permanent knee joint damage.

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How Are Rheumatoid Arthritis And Anemia Connected

It has long been known that inflammation can wreak havoc on the body, and this includes the way in which red blood cells are produced, stored, and ultimately destroyed.

While iron-deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia in the world, in patients with RA, anemia of chronic disease is dominant.

Infectious And Reactive Arthritis

The 5 Most Common Types of Arthritis

Infectious arthritis is an infection in one of your joints that causes pain or swelling. The infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. It can start in another part of your body and spread to your joints. This kind of arthritis is often accompanied by a fever and chills.

Reactive arthritis can occur when an infection in one part of your body triggers immune system dysfunction and inflammation in a joint elsewhere in your body. The infection often occurs in your gastrointestinal tract, bladder, or sexual organs.

To diagnose these conditions, your doctor can order tests on samples of your blood, urine, and fluid from inside an affected joint.

The fingers are most commonly affected with psoriatic arthritis , but this painful condition affects other joints as well. Pink-colored fingers that appear sausage-like, and pitting of the fingernails, may also occur.

The disease may also progress to your spine, causing damage similar to that of ankylosing spondylitis.

If you have psoriasis, theres a chance you could also develop PsA.

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How Is Arthritis Treated

Theres no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.

Conservative treatments include:

  • Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune systems inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
  • Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
  • Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.

What Are The Parts Of A Joint

Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.

Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.

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What Is The Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Osteoarthritis

Many people use the term arthritis interchangeably to describe the symptoms and causes of progressive joint deterioration and pain. However, there are several different forms of arthritis, which result in inflammation of the joints and results from a number of causes depending on the type. The most common form is osteoarthritis , and is generally caused by aging and the resulting wear and tear on the joints, most commonly those of the knees and hips. It can also result from a traumatic impact suffered from a car accident, a fall, or from an old sports injury. Arthritis treatment offered by Los Angeles rheumatologist Dr. Susan Baker can make a major difference in everyday life and comfort.

Another common form, known as rheumatoid arthritis , is actually an autoimmune disorder which occurs when the bodys own immune system targets healthy tissue. Both can lead to cartilage loss and permanent joint damage, which can cause chronic pain and affect proper function and mobility of the joint.

Soft Tissue Musculoskeletal Pain

Are There 100 Different Types of Arthritis?

Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain is felt in tissues other than the joints and bones. The pain often affects a part of the body following injury or overuse, such as tennis elbow, and originates from the muscles or soft tissues supporting the joints.

Pain that is more widespread and associated with other symptoms may indicate fibromyalgia.

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Arthritis Prevalence In The Us

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the most common cause of disability among U.S. adults and have been for the past 15 years.

  • Nearly 50% of people may develop symptomatic knee OA by age 85 years.
  • An estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.
  • 26.0% of women and 19.1% men report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • An estimated 27 million adults had osteoarthritis in 2005.
  • An estimated 5.0 million adults had fibromyalgia in 2005.
  • An estimated 1.5 million adults had rheumatoid arthritis in 2007.
  • In 2004, there were 454,652 total knee replacements performed, primarily for arthritis.
  • An estimated 3.0 million adults had gout in 2005, and 6.1 million adults have ever had gout.
  • An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition.
  • In 2004, there were 232,857 total hip replacements, 41,934 shoulder, and 12,055 other joint replacements, primarily for arthritis.

Different Forms Of Anemia Associated With Ra

Some forms of anemia associated with RA include:

  • Anemia of chronic disease is when the body has an abundant amount of iron in its tissues, but not enough in the blood. In this case, systemic inflammation prevents the body from using stored iron to help make new RBCs. This leads to an overall decrease in RBCs. This type of anemia is also known to be normochromic and normocytic anemia, meaning the issue is not with the RBCs themselves, but rather with the process of producing new ones.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia develops when iron stores in both the tissue and bloodstream are depleted, ultimately leading to decreased new RBC production. This is the most common form of anemia worldwide. Oftentimes, iron deficiency anemia can develop from excessive bleeding in people with RA. It’s important to note that certain medications used to treat RA, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , can lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • Hemolytic anemia can be seen in people with RA, but it is the least commonly associated form. In hemolytic anemia, RBCs are destroyed at a much faster pace than normal, leading to low RBCs in the blood. In addition to RA, other conditions such as lupus, thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and infection can lead to hemolytic anemia.

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What Are The Different Types Of Inflammatory Arthritis

The major types of inflammatory arthritis include:

When detected and treated in its early stages, the effects of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly diminished, or the condition may even disappear completely. The importance of proper diagnosis, particularly in the early stages of the disease, may prevent serious, lifelong arthritic complications.

The Early Arthritis Initiative of the connects patients quickly and efficiently with a rheumatologist who can evaluate their joint pain and get each patient started on an appropriate course of treatment. HSS also offers specialized patient for conditions such as and .

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed

Different Types of Arthritis

If you think you may have arthritis, see your healthcare provider. The provider will ask about your symptoms and learn how joint pain affects your life. Your provider will perform a physical exam, which may include:

  • Assessing mobility and range of motion in your joints.
  • Checking for areas of tenderness or swelling around your joints.
  • Evaluating your overall health to determine if a different condition could be causing your symptoms.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

Since joint stress causes osteoarthritis, the condition develops gradually over time and occurs most frequently in weight-bearing joints such as the feet, hips, knees and spine. While it is a painful condition, unlike some other forms of arthritis, it does not cause fatigue or sickness. People who have osteoarthritis usually have symptoms like joint stiffness and lack of flexibility. They may also notice snapping and crackling sounds when they move the affected joints.

The Most Common Forms Of Arthritis

Diagnosis can be quick and easy, or it can take some time. Your doctor will begin by assessing your symptoms, comparing them to the typical sets of symptoms for arthritic conditions.These four forms of arthritis are more common than others, which makes them good jumping off points for an accurate diagnosis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the world. Experts estimate that more than 27 million Americans suffer from OA and some may not even realize it.

OA is the wear and tear type of arthritis, setting in gradually, often occurring without any injury or trauma, and mainly affecting older adults.

In OA, the protective layer of cartilage that caps each bone in the joint begins to wear away, eventually leaving the bones to rub against each other. The main symptoms are swelling and stiffness, as surrounding tissues become inflamed, but pain is usually not far behind. You may also notice a clicking or crunching sound when you bend the joint, a symptom known as crepitus.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unlike OA, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease: the inflammation and pain comes from an overactive immune response, where your body mistakes its own healthy tissue for an invader, and attacks the joint structure. RA isnt as common as OA, and plagues women more often than men in fact, 70 percent of RA patients are female.

Juvenile Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

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Ra Types: What Distinguishes Types Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The mystery that remains surrounding the direct cause of rheumatoid arthritis makes it difficult to fully categorize the disease. Different symptoms and progression rates turn up in different patients. Though it isnt totally clear what drives these differences, researchers do know that it largely depends on genetics.

Further and further, researchers are finding ways to classify the types and sub-types of rheumatoid arthritis by the actual symptoms patients experience, in addition to other factors. Because of the progressive nature of the disease as well as its tendency to evolve over time, it may be that patients are told they have multiple types or subtypes over the course of their lives.

Further research is being conducted into a deeper classification of rheumatoid arthritis into sub-types that each define unique sets of symptoms and progressions. This will help provide more personalized therapy and medical treatment options.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Rheumatic Disease

Arthritis, What Are The Different Types?

A direct cause for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis is unclear, but genetics are believed to play a role in the development and progression of inflammation that triggers the adverse immune response responsible for RA-related joint degeneration.

Some risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis in Los Angeles:

  • Gender more common in women
  • Age while RA can develop at any age, it is most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60
  • Lifestyle factors people who smoke tobacco and are overweight can be at a higher risk of developing the condition
  • Environmental and industrial contaminants while the data is still inconclusive, rheumatologists and health experts believe that exposure to certain pollutants and chemicals like asbestos and silica can increase the risk of autoimmune disorders in some people

Learn more about rheumatic diseases at

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Talk To Your Doctor About Joint Pain

Because there are so many different types of arthritis each condition causing different symptoms and requiring different types of treatments its necessary to talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms associated with arthritis. Getting the appropriate treatment can help slow, delay, or prevent the progression of the disease.

Talk to your primary care physician if you experience pain, stiffness, swelling, or discomfort in or around your joints. Your doctor may refer you to a physician that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.

Oa And Ra: Key Comparisons

More than 30 million people in the United States are believed to have osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease. It’s often called wear-and-tear arthritis and is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilagecushioning that sits between the bones that form your joints.

Cartilage loss can cause bones to rub together, which is extremely painful. Osteoarthritis typically begins in a single joint and is more common after age 65.

Rheumatoid arthritis is much less common, with an estimated 1.5 people in the U.S. diagnosed with it. RA is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that primarily targets the lining of the joint , but it can also affect the organs throughout your body. Multiple joints are usually involved, as well.

RA disease onset is most common in people between 30 and 60. Women are two to three times more likely than men to have the disease, and men tend to get it later in life.

OA vs. RA: At a Glance

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Two Main Categories Of Arthritis

Arthritis conditions fall into one of two categories: degenerative or inflammatory. Degenerative arthritis diseases cause damage to the area surrounding a jointcommonly referred to as the wear and tear variety. Inflammatory arthritis conditions involve the immune system they are autoimmune disorders. These disorders cause the body to mistakenly attack its own tissues, which cause issues or damage inside joints. A tell-tale sign of inflammatory arthritis is the presence of white blood cells in the joint fluid.

Despite its prevalence, arthritis isnt completely understood. It can begin unexpectedly, masquerade as other diseases, and defy treatment. Sometimes symptoms are clear and visible , but often the pain and discomfort wont show up on the surface of the body.

If you suspect arthritis is the source of your pain, stiffness, and inflammation, the first step is a concise and accurate diagnosis.

Find More Relief With A More Specific Arthritis Diagnosis

What is Arthritis?

Simply put, arthritis is joint inflammation but identifying the causes and predicting the long-term consequences isnt so simple. In fact, there are over 100 types of arthritis, and since they often mimic each other , it can be difficult to pin down the source.

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is a real problem: many people live with progressing pain and disability in their joints because proper treatment is delayed, misdirected or ignored.

Pain, stiffness, and less range of motion are the hallmarks of arthritis, but different arthritic conditions create these problems in different ways. In order to slow the joint damage and reduce the pain and swelling, youll need to know just what type of arthritis youre living with, and how best to manage it.

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