Much contrary to the popular belief, there are more than 100 different types of diseases that affect the joints and the tissues around the joints, resulting in arthritis. Some common forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout and pseudogout and psoriatic arthritis among others. The word arthritis is derived from the Greek words ‘arth’ meaning joint and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation. Arthritis relates to joint problems like pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage and surrounding tissues. This damage can further lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that can interfere with the basic daily tasks like walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting food or brushing teeth. While most arthritis types affect the elderly, there are some types that can target children also. Let us look at some common kinds of arthritis in the following lines.
Different Kinds Of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is mainly associated with aging and occurs due to wear and tear. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis affects the weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, spine, feet and base of the thumb. This type of arthritis can lead to other major risk factors like obesity, trauma to the joint and repetitive use of the joint.
Commonly known as autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is a disabling disease, which eventually results in a chronic condition. The immune system of the body attacks the synovial membrane causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Since the symptoms are subtle in the early stages, diagnosing it early is difficult.
Psoriatic Arthritis is quite similar to rheumatoid arthritis, since it is also an autoimmune disease. It affects people who are afflicted with psoriasis. The symptoms include inflammation of joints, along with swelling and pain. The joints tend to become crippled, when left untreated.
The disorder of metabolism of uric acid in the body causes gout. It is a condition when the waste product (uric acid) rises above the normal levels. Instead of being flushed by the kidneys, crystals of uric acid deposit in the joints, especially in the big toe, eventually causing pain, swelling, redness and tenderness.
Juvenile arthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects children. There are three types of juvenile arthritis, namely, pauciarticular, polyarticular and systemic. Pauciarticular affects just a few joints, while polyarticular affects several joints and systemic targets the entire body. This type of arthritis is diagnosed when the symptoms last for more than 6 weeks.
Infectious arthritis is an outcome of the infections by fungi, virus or bacteria. While septic arthritis occurs due to infection by bacteria, tuberculosis results in tuberculosis arthritis. Apart from this, viral infection causes viral arthritis and fungal arthritis occurs due to fungal infection. People who are infected by gonorrhea are likely to develop gonococcal arthritis.
Ankylosing spondylitis mainly affects the spine and leads to the fusing of vertebrae, thereby resulting in a rigid spine. It is a chronic disease and is highly inflammatory in nature. Low back pain is one of the most common causes of ankylosing spondylitis, which is accompanied by stiffness. This arthritis type generally affects men in the age category of 16 to 35, though women too can be affected.
Fibromyalgia is caused due to a defection in the neurotransmitter functioning in the brain. It affects the soft tissues of the body and is characterized by stiffness, tenderness and pain IN the muscles.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This is an autoimmune disease that affects women in their child-bearing years. This arthritis affects the entire system, along with several internal organs. If the disease is not diagnosed early and treated, it can turn to be serious and life-threatening.