Common Types Of Arthritis
Commonly associated with older age, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including more than 300,000 children each year. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Depending on the type, it can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities or go relatively unnoticed and be easily managed for years.
Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Most individuals experience common symptoms like joint pain, swelling, stiffness and/or decreased range of motion.
Here are 5 of the most common types of arthritis:
The 5 Most Common Types Of Arthritis Of The Spine
Arthritis is the root of chronic pain for many individuals. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately one in four Americans over the age of 18 have arthritis that has been identified and formally diagnosed by a doctor.
For some individuals, arthritis can be easily managed, while for other patients, arthritis can mean persistent pain, decreased mobility, and even physical deformation. The exact treatment for a patients arthritis depends both on the type or types of arthritis that he or she has and the current severity of the arthritis.
Arthritis is not reversible, but can often be managed with the help of appropriate medical professionals. In this blog, we discuss the general characteristics of arthritis as well as five of the most common types of arthritis of the spine.
Seven Main Arthritis Variants
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared the current statistics for Americans, and 54 million people suffer from some form of arthritis, while 24 million of these people have a lower quality of life.
Losing the ability to be active and fully functional is emotionally debilitating. Start understanding your variant of arthritis to manage it on your terms.
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How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
Seeing your primary care physician is a good first step if youre unsure who to see for an arthritis diagnosis. They will perform a physical exam to check for fluid around the joints, warm or red joints, and document the range of motion in the joints. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist if needed.
If youre experiencing severe symptoms, you may choose to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist first. This may lead to a faster diagnosis and treatment.
Documenting inflammation levels in your blood and aspirating and analyzing joint fluids, if present, can help your doctor determine what kind of arthritis you have.
The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain youre experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. Youll learn what works best for you in terms of managing pain.
In general, treatment for arthritis
- heat and cold compresses
- mobility assistance devices, such as canes or walkers
Improving your joint function is also important. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of treatment methods to achieve the best results.
Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms. Although the symptoms of these two types of arthritis can be similar, it’s very important to distinguish between them in order to determine the proper treatment.
At the University of Michigan Health System, our experienced rheumatologists will do appropriate tests to determine which type of arthritis you have. Then we will develop an effective treatment plan and will explain your options.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage joint surface wears out. Osteoarthritis usually begins in an isolated joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body instead of intruders. In this case, it attacks the synovial membrane that encases and protects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis often targets several joints at one time. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- the symmetrical nature of the disease ,
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How Different Types Of Arthritis Affect Your Joints Differently
Do you believe your joint pain is caused by arthritis? With over 100 different types of arthritis identified, knowing the type you have could be the key to relieving your pain and inflammation. A qualified specialist can correctly diagnose your arthritis type and properly manage your symptoms with a targeted regimen.
At Western Orthopaedics in Arvada and Denver, Colorado, our team of orthopaedic specialists has many years of combined experience diagnosing and treating the various forms of arthritis. They can properly classify your arthritis type and treat your joint pain and any other symptoms.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Osteoarthritis
Researchers suspect that osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors in the body and the environment. The chance of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.
Putting too much stress on a joint that has been previously injured, improper alignment of joints, and excess weight all may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
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While Both Types Of Arthritis There Are Notable Differences
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is recognized as the most disabling type of arthritis. While they both fall under the “arthritis” umbrella and share certain similarities, these diseases have significant differences.
Is There A Difference Between Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a blanket term covering all types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. Wear and tear on the joints are known as osteoarthritis, and its the most common type of arthritis.
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How Do I Know If I Have Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis
The main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the bodys own immune system attacks the bodys joints. It may begin any time in life.
Orthopedic Care For Arthritis
Most types of arthritis can be managed with help from medications, exercise and tips from a physician or rheumatologist. But in some cases, surgical intervention may be required. For example, an older person with severe osteoarthritis of the hip may not be able to live a full and functional life without having the hip replaced.
The process of orthopedic treatment can feel frightening, which is why its crucial to find a treatment center that puts your needs first. OrthoBethesda takes a uniquely conservative approach to treatment to ensure we dont perform any unnecessary invasive treatments.
When you come in for your first appointment, we thoroughly evaluate your condition and formulate a plan that is specific to your needs. Oftentimes, this will include taking x-rays to get a clearer picture of whether surgery is necessary. If its not imperative, we provide other options such as physical therapy or corticosteroid injections. Our goal is to do everything in our power to improve your arthritis symptoms through non-invasive means whenever possible.
If the condition doesnt respond to our treatment, we will walk you through a surgical solution. We know how important it is to answer your questions and paint a clear picture of how the solution can improve your condition.
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How Is Osteoarthritis Treated
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. Mild to moderate symptoms are usually well managed by a combination of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. Medical treatments and recommendations include:
- Medications .
- Exercise .
- Healthy eating, managing diabetes and cholesterol.
- Supportive devices such as braces, orthotics, shoe inserts, cane, or walker.
- Intra-articular injection therapies .
- Complementary and alternative medicine strategies, including vitamins and supplements.
Surgery may be helpful to relieve pain and restore function when other medical treatments are ineffective or have been exhausted, especially with advanced OA.
The goals of treatment are to:
- Improve mobility and function.
- Increase patients’ quality of life.
The type of treatment regimen prescribed depends on many factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, activities, occupation, and severity of the condition.
Although many of these medications are available in over-the-counter preparations, individuals with osteoarthritis should talk to a health care provider before taking the medications. Some medications may have dangerous or unwanted side effects and/or may interfere with other medications that are being taken. Some over the counter medications still require routine laboratory testing.
Hot and cold therapies
Arthritis Variants Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the common questions people ask.
Its best described as a burning sensation in a joint. The pain can also be mild in the beginning stage of arthritis and is commonly confused with stiffness.
Arthritis sufferers commonly mistake mild pain for stiffness, but stiffness defines a joint that loses mobility. You wont be able to flex or use the joint as much anymore, and this will be uncomfortable.
According to the CDC, the most common type is osteoarthritis, closely followed by gout, and the third one would be rheumatoid arthritis.
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Why Is Arthritis More Common In Older People
Cartilage also goes through a degenerative process which is when arthritis can develop. Ligaments and other connective tissues become less elastic and flexible with age. Because of the changes that occur within the musculoskeletal system as we age, our joints typically develop a decreased range of motion.
How Can I Manage Oa And Improve My Quality Of Life
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
- Learn self-management skills. Join a self-management education class, which helps people with arthritis and other chronic conditionsincluding OAunderstand how arthritis affects their lives and increase their confidence in controlling their symptoms and living well. Learn more about the CDC-recommended self-management education programs.
- Get physically active. Experts recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes per week of at least moderate physical activity. Every minute of activity counts, and any activity is better than none. Moderate, low impact activities recommended include walking, swimming, or biking. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Learn more about physical activity for arthritis.
- Go to effective physical activity programs. For people who worry that physical activity may make OA worse or are unsure how to exercise safely, participation in physical activity programs can help reduce pain and disability related to arthritis and improve mood and the ability to move. Classes take place at local Ys, parks, and community centers. These classes can help people with OA feel better. Learn more about CDC-recommended physical activity programs.
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How Do I Know If I Have Osteoarthritis
Unlike other types of arthritis, the pain from osteoarthritis usually develops gradually over many months or years. Often it increases with activities that put stress on the joint, such as running or prolonged walking. Pain and joint swelling tend to increase slowly over time. Sometimes, especially in more advanced disease, a sensation of crunching or grinding may be noticed in affected joints. Prolonged morning stiffness is not a prominent symptom in OA as compared to inflammatory arthritides, such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis does not usually cause fevers, weight loss, or very hot and red joints. These features suggest some other condition or type of arthritis.
Your healthcare provider can typically diagnose osteoarthritis by obtaining a complete history of your symptoms and examining your joints. X-rays may be helpful to make sure there is no other reason for the pain. Magnetic resonance imaging is generally not needed except in unusual circumstances or in cases when the cartilage or surrounding ligament tear is suspected. There are no blood tests that diagnose osteoarthritis. If a joint is particularly swollen, a doctor may need to drain fluid from that joint. Tests can be performed on the fluid to look for clues for other types of arthritis, such as gout.
Common Types Of Arthritis Explained
Arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause life-altering pain for those who struggle with it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 54 million people 23 percent of all adults in the U.S. have arthritis. Around 24 million of those affected by arthritis are limited in the activities they can perform, and more than one-quarter of arthritis sufferers report that their joint pain is severe.
There are more than one hundred specific types of arthritis, each with their own range of symptoms, and its impossible to pinpoint everything that causes arthritis. Most types of arthritis can affect different parts of the body such as the hands, feet, knees or other joints. Understanding the most common forms of arthritis can help you better describe your condition to your doctor and make your treatment options clearer.
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Treatment Goals: Manage Pain And Improve Function
Osteoarthritis treatment plans often include exercise, rest and joint care, pain relief, weight control, medicines, surgery, and complementary treatment approaches. Current treatments for osteoarthritis can relieve symptoms such as pain and disability, but there are no treatments that can cure the condition.
Although health care professionals can prescribe or recommend treatments to help you manage your arthritis, the real key to living well with the disease is you. Research shows that people with osteoarthritis who take part in their own care report less pain and make fewer doctor visits. They also enjoy a better quality of life.
Which Type Of Arthritis Is Extremely Common In The Elderly And Is Most Likely A Normal Part Of The Aging Process From Wear And Tear
It is by far the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 32.5 million adults in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Historically, osteoarthritis was known as a wear and tear condition, generally associated with aging.
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What Causes Osteoarthritis
Primary osteoarthritis is a heterogeneous disease meaning it has many different causes, it is not only âwear and tearâ arthritis. Some contributing factors to OA are modifiable and others are non-modifiable . Age is a contributing factor, although not all older adults develop osteoarthritis and for those who do, not all develop associated pain. As discussed above, there can also be inflammatory and metabolic risks that can increase the incidence of osteoarthritis, particularly in the setting of diabetes and/or elevated cholesterol.
Osteoarthritis can be genetic both as primary such as nodular OA of the hands as well as secondary related to other genetic disorders, such as hypermobility of joints. Inflammatory and infectious arthritis can contribute to the development of secondary osteoarthritis due to chronic inflammation and joint destruction. Previous injuries or traumas including sports-related and repetitive motions can also contribute to osteoarthritis.
Although the exact mechanisms of cartilage loss and bone changes are unknown, advancements have been made in recent years. It is suspected that complex signaling processes, during joint inflammation and defective repair mechanisms in response to injury, gradually wear down cartilage within the joints. Other changes cause the joint to lose mobility and function, resulting in joint pain with activity.
Other Forms Of Arthritis
While osteoarthritis, RA, and psoriatic arthritis tend to be the most common forms of arthritis, theres a long list of other types of arthritis. These include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout, Raynauds phenomenon, and ankylosing spondylitis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Other conditionssuch as Lyme disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel diseasecan also include arthritis as one component of a more complex illness.
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A What Is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.
Some people call it degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis.
It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.
These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time.
In some cases it also causes reduced function and disability some people are no longer able to do daily tasks or work.
What Is The Most Painful Form Of Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can be one of the most painful types of arthritis it affects joints as well as other surrounding tissues, including organs. This inflammatory, autoimmune disease attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing painful swelling in the joints, like hands, wrists and knees.
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