We’ve all heard about the term Arthritis at least once in our lives, I’m sure. For the elderly, it is very common (and painful!). Or we may know an aunt or a grandpa who has it. What we don’t know is, it actually has many kinds and each type shows different symptoms and affects different age groups. It is also important to distinguish one from the other as the treatment may differ. So here we briefly discuss the most common types of arthritis.
This is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine or back. What happens is, the joints and ligaments along the spine become inflamed which produces pain and stiffness that usually begins in the lower back. It may then progress into the upper spine, chest, and neck. Other joints, such as the hips, shoulders and knees may also be affected.
Infectious or septic arthritis is caused by an infection in the joint. How does it develop? It starts out with an infection somewhere else in the body which then travels through the bloodstream to the joint. The infection may also enter the joint directly through a puncture wound or a surgical incision near the joint.
Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, Juvenile Arthritis refers to the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Common symptoms of these disorders include pain, joint swelling, redness, and warmth but each sub-type of this category may have other symptoms as well.
Gout develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid, once it accumulates, can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. A diet high in uric acid (heavy beer consumption) is the main cause.
Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems in moving the joint. It can occur in any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints thereby causing inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints. It does not only affect joint as it can also affect other body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems.