What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is more than just wear and tear or an old person’s disease. Find out about the different types of arthritis. 

Although arthritis is common, it is often not understood. Arthritis isn’t a single condition. It is a informal term that refers to joint pain and joint disease. There are many types of arthritis, and other related conditions. All sexes, races, and ages can have arthritis. It is America’s leading cause of disability. Over 50 million people have arthritis, and more than 300,000. It’s more common in women than it is in men and becomes more frequent as people age.

The most common symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain and stiffness. These symptoms can fluctuate. They may be mild, moderate, or severe. They can remain the same for years, but they can change or become worse over time. Chronic pain and inability to perform daily activities can lead to severe arthritis. It can also make it difficult for people to walk or climb stairs.

Arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage. Although visible changes such as knobby fingers can be apparent, X-rays are often required to see the extent of damage. As well as the joints, some types of arthritis can also affect the eyes, heart, kidneys, skin, and lungs.

Types of Arthritis



Degenerative Arthritis

Inflammatory Arthritis

Infectious Arthritis

Metabolic Arthritis

Degenerative Arthritis  – 

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the most common. The cartilage, the smooth, cushioning layer at the ends of bones, wears down and bone rubs against bone, causing stiffness, pain, swelling, and stiffness. As time goes by, the strength of joints may decrease and chronic pain can develop. Excess weight, family history and age are all risk factors. To manage mild to moderate osteoarthritis symptoms, regular physical activity, cold and hot therapies, over-the counter pain relievers, and assistive devices are all common. Joint replacement may be required if severe joint symptoms cause limited mobility or affect quality of life. You can prevent osteoarthritis by being active, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding repetitive movements and injury

Inflammatory Arthritis

Healthy immune systems are protective. It creates inflammation in the body to fight infection and prevent future disease. Inflammatory arthritis is when the immune system fails to function properly. It mistakenly attacks joints with uncontrolled inflammation. This could lead to joint erosion. Inflammation can cause damage to the internal organs, eyes, and other parts of your body. Examples of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid and psoriatic, as well as ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and rheumatoid-type arthritis.


Research suggests that autoimmunity can be caused by a combination genetics and environmental factors. People with certain genes can be affected by smoking, which is an environmental risk factor that could trigger rheumatoid-arthritis.

Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are crucial for both autoimmune and inflammatory forms of arthritis. The slowing down of disease activity can reduce or even stop permanent joint damage. One or more drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs) may be used to achieve remission. Other goals include pain relief, improved function, and prevention of further joint damage.

Infectious Arthritis

Inflammation can be caused by a virus, bacterium or fungus entering the joint. Salmonella, shigella (food poisoning), chlamydia or gonorrhea (“sexually transmitted diseases”) and hepatitis C (“a blood-to-blood infection often caused by shared needles and transfusions) are some examples of organisms that could infect joints. Although it is possible to treat the infection quickly with antibiotics, arthritis can sometimes become chronic.

Metabolic Arthritis

Purines are substances found in many foods and cells. The body creates uric acid by breaking down purines. People with high levels of urine acid may have excess uric acids because their bodies can’t eliminate it fast enough. Some people have gout attacks or sudden spikes in extreme joint pain. This is because uric acid can build up in their joints and form needle-like crystals. Gout can be episodic or chronic. If the uric acid level isn’t controlled, it can cause ongoing pain and disability.

What You Can Do

It is important to first get a diagnosis of the cause of your pain. Your symptoms should be discussed with your primary care physician. A rheumatologist, orthopedist or doctor who specializes in arthritis and related conditions may refer you. Many things can be done to maintain joint function, mobility, and quality of your life. It is important to learn about the disease and its treatment options. You should also make time for exercise and maintain a healthy weight. The common misunderstanding of arthritis is widespread. The Arthritis Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to arthritis care, is the only one. It offers many resources to help you learn about arthritis, connect with others who suffer from it, and raise money for a cure.

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