When people mention arthritis, they have no idea more than 100 types of arthritis exist, each of which is unique. However, most of the 40 million people in the U.S. who suffer from this disease have one of three types of arthritis, each of which is described below.
What is Arthritis?
Before going into detail about the most common types of arthritis, it is important people have a basic understanding of the disease itself. Specifically, arthritis is a condition that causes extremely painful inflammation and stiffness in a person’s joints. Since there are so many different types of arthritis, each has its own causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects older individuals, people who have joint injuries, and those who are severely overweight. When comparing osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis and how they affect people, the major difference is that osteoarthritis is caused by a loss of cartilage in the joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body attacks itself.
In cases of osteoarthritis, the joints most commonly affected include knees, feet, spine, and hips. Since treatment can often involve physical therapy and other types of exercise, Joint Academy would be a good option to consider for joint and knee therapy.
As previously stated, those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis have an autoimmune disease that attacks their joints. Unfortunately, it is not clear why some people get this disease, with some researchers speculating that the person’s immune system becomes confused following a virus or infection.
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect a person gradually or suddenly, producing pain, swelling, and stiffness in various joints. Over time, simple tasks such as opening a jar or even walking or driving can become almost impossible. Fortunately, many new medications have been introduced in recent years to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, for people to get the best results, they need to start treatment as soon as possible once symptoms begin to appear.
Different from the previous two types of arthritis mentioned here in that this form can affect a person’s skin, psoriatic arthritis often results from having psoriasis. While the skin condition will lead to patchy and raised areas of skin that burn and itch, the arthritis that follows can lead to severe swelling in a person’s fingers and toes.
Fortunately, only about one-third of people who have psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. For those who do, it is generally men and women between the ages of 30-50, with both sexes equally represented. Due to the disease having many subtleties, a comprehensive physical exam and treatment program will need to be developed by a patient’s rheumatologist.
Though each of these types of arthritis set their sights on people of various ages and affect different parts of the body, the one common denominator is that each can be successfully treated by doctors. By recognizing the symptoms early on, getting a proper diagnosis, and beginning treatment immediately, arthritis sufferers can still have a good quality of life.