Different Arthritis Types: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid, Septic, Psoriatic, etc.

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Many people may be surprised to know that there are many different arthritis types. In fact, some sources state that there are well over 100 variants or types of the condition, while others state that there are over 200 variants.

The severity of pain and disability vary greatly from one kind to another, and some people can and do have more than one type. Some arthritic conditions that you may not know are forms of the disease include tendinitis, gout and lupus.

In fact, the arthritis types can be easily placed into three broad categories, namely:

  1. Inflammatory arthritis: This is the most common form
  2. Connective tissue condition: This form includes conditions such as sclerosis, lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome
  3. Non-inflammatory arthritis: This form refers to conditions such as scoliosis and osteoarthritis

Common Arthritis Types

Within these three main groups above are many forms of the condition with some being more common than others. Some of the most widespread forms are:

Infectious Arthritis

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Infectious arthritis also goes by the name septic arthritis and refers to an infection in a joint resulting from bacterium, fungus or a virus. Frequently, this infection starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the joint, causing pain and swelling. Due to the nature of this condition, many sufferers also end up with chills and a fever.

Reactive arthritis also falls into this category as it results from an infection.  This usually starts in the intestines, urinary tract or the genitals.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Until recently people thought that Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was an old people’s disease, but nothing could be further from the truth. For children under 16, this is the most common form of the condition and while some children only experience symptoms for a definite period, some kids will have the disease for life.

In its most serious form it can cause eye problems and retard growth. Another name for this strain of the disease is juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteo arthritis and degenerative arthritis are just two of the other terms for this common form of this disease. It generally affects people over 50 years old, and females tend to develop the condition more often than men. When it occurs in younger people it is normally as a result of injury to a joint or another underlying health condition.

This form of the disease affects any joint, but the ones it affects most are the hips, knees, spine, small joints of the hand and the base of the big toe. The damage from this form of the disease results primarily from the wear and tear of joints. The symptoms are the same as with most other forms of the condition; stiffness, pain and swelling.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

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This chronic autoimmune disease affects all ages, although it is most common in people over 40 years old. Like some other forms of the disease it mostly affects females. While any joint can be affected, it is often seen in the small joints of the hands and feet.

This form of arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks tissues which results in the wearing away of the lining of joints.  It can lead to various other health conditions as it affects other parts of the body such as the heart, lungs and skin. When it is severe, deformity of the joint can also occur.

Traumatic Arthritis

As the name suggests, Traumatic arthritis is a direct result of injury to the joints. This condition can develop years after the injury, which gives it its other name, post-traumatic arthritis. Injuries that result in dislocation of joints and damage to joints and surrounding areas are the most common factors leading to this form of the disease.

These injuries hasten the wearing out of these joints resulting in pain, swelling and other arthritic symptoms. Being overweight or re-injuring the same area can also make the condition worse.

Inflammatory arthritis

Many other forms of Inflammatory arthritis fall into this group such as, psoriatic arthritis, lupus related-arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. 

Other lesser known arthritis types include:

  • Psoriatic arthritis: as the name implies this condition affects people with the skin condition, psoriasis. This results when the immune system attacks the joints resulting in inflammation. Like psoriasis, this condition occasional flare-ups.

  • Palindromic arthritis: This refers to attacks that come and go. The length of time between each attack varies greatly between individuals. Some sufferers will go on to develop a more common form of arthritis.
  • Viral arthritis: This refers to an inflammation of the joints resulting from a viral infection.

  • Temporal arthritis: This condition also goes by the names cranial or giant-cell arthritis as well as Horton Disease. It affects the head and occurs most often in people over 50 although it can affect younger people. It results from an inflammation of large and medium-sized arteries in the head. 
  • Facet arthritis: This refers to the pain and discomfort in the facet joints in the lower spine. Some people refer to this condition as arthritis of the spine

Treatment options will depend to a great degree on the arthritis types you have. Many people who have this condition try a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of treatment which normally does not have any lasting effects. In most cases, the treatment focuses on managing pain and discomfort and preventing damage to the joints which can frequently lead to deformity and disability.

More Articles About Arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis - The answer is not as simple as a definition, but rather, has many parts, including the methods for treating this disease and the ways in which it may affect your life.

Gout Arthritis - Gout arthritis is a painful form of this debilitating disease and can easily hinder your ability to perform every day functions.

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