Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, and some forms of arthritis can spread to other parts of the body as well. The inflammation generally causes pain, stiffness, and swelling.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, the two most common of which are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. About 55 million American adults have some form of arthritis, and by far the most common type is osteoarthritis – which affects more than 30 million Americans – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

Let’s talk about several of the most common types of arthritis, what causes them, and what you can do to treat it.

Often called just “arthritis” because of its prevalence, osteoarthritis is also known as wear-and-tear arthritis. Although it’s largely associated with normal aging, it can also affect young athletes.

In osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage between your bones in a joint has thinned out or worn down. This lack of protective cartilage causes friction between the bones, which creates symptoms such as pain with movement. This can limit joint function and range of motion.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease. There is no cure, but you can slow down or stifle the progression of the disease with various treatments, including surgery. Thanks to these treatments, people today can live normal lives with osteoarthritis.

There are effective treatments for arthritis pain relief that are noninvasive or minimally invasive, such as pain-relief injections provided by your doctor. When combined with physical therapy, these treatments enable patients to continue living an active lifestyle.

If not addressed, osteoarthritis can damage the bones and other tissues in the joint. The symptoms will get worse over time without proper management.

Whereas osteoarthritis pain usually gets worse after activity (usually in the evening), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain is worst when waking up in the morning. This type of arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder whereby your body mistakenly attacks the synovium of your joints. This causes inflammatory symptoms such as warmth, swelling, and tenderness.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the smaller joints first, such as the fingers and toes. It can eventually destroy bone tissue and cartilage, resulting in deformity. This type of arthritis can also spread to your eyes, skin, lungs, heart, and kidneys, and it can cause complications such as osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and heart and lung diseases.

This is a type of arthritis that often only affects your big toe. It comes and goes, and it is very painful and can cause extreme physical sensitivity in the joint during a flare-up. Just as with osteoarthritis, the symptoms of gout can be effectively managed.

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, which is usually a result of your body digesting red meat, seafood, beer, or fruit drinks. Too much uric acid in the body can build up especially in your toe joint and cause gout symptoms.

Here at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, our surgeons, and medical specialists help patients with various types of arthritis to live a normal and active lifestyle. We offer advanced diagnostic services and the latest treatments to help relieve your arthritis pain and prevent the progression of the disease.

To schedule a consultation, contact our team at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663) or complete our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get past your arthritis pain and back to the life you love.

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