Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis? Although they all involve joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, each type of arthritis varies in its causes and treatment options. In addition, although it typically afflicts older people, remember that arthritis affects people of all ages.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the variety that develops from joint overuse, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease normally diagnosed after age 30. Finally, psoriatic arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that may occur in conjunction with psoriasis. To learn more about this troublesome trio, please scroll down.
Types of Arthritis
Joints, the areas where bones connect to one another, constantly move throughout the day. Cartilage, a slippery substance, prevents the bones from grinding together as they shift and rotate, absorbing shock and reducing friction. In people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage deteriorates. This leaves the joints more susceptible to damage with every movement that you make. It causes the soft tissue surrounding your joints to take on more stress, which can cause pain. In addition, your bones may end up rubbing against each other.
Although your risk for osteoarthritis increases as you age, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if you’re under age 60. Individuals of any age can develop the condition. People who make repetitive motions or put extra strain on their joints are at a higher risk for osteoarthritis. Obesity, genes and injury can also predispose you to the condition.
Although rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints, it is not caused by injury or overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the joints. The consistent inflammation is painful, and the joints become damaged over time.
People with rheumatoid arthritis experience similar symptoms to those with osteoarthritis. However, the intensity of the pain is often more severe in people with rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, people with this condition often feel tired and lose their appetite. Symptoms may flare up out of nowhere and dissipate from time to time. In addition, people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience complications, such as scarring of the lungs, digestive problems, numbness, eye damage, mood changes, and heart problems. Approximately 40 percent of people with the disease have symptoms that extend beyond the joints (source).
Psoriatic arthritis accompanies psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition. Up to one-third of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis (source). Most of the time, the telltale red rash with crusty scales develops first. However, the joint pain may appear before the skin inflammation becomes evident. In addition, people whose nails are affected by psoriasis are more likely to get this type of arthritis than people whose fingernails are not pitted and flaked from the disease (source).
Symptoms of Arthritis
People with all types of arthritis can experience painful joints that feel swollen or rigid. Pain may become worse with movement, and stiffness may also occur when the joints have been immobile for a long period of time. The symptoms may come on suddenly, or they can gradually worsen over time. In some cases, the joints may feel hot to the touch.
Osteoarthritis is most likely to affect weight-bearing joints, such as the spine and knees, while rheumatoid arthritis typically affects more than one joint. It can influence the joints throughout the extremities as well as those in the jaw and neck. Finally, psoriatic arthritis commonly causes inflammation in the feet, fingers, and lower back.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. However, the different types of arthritis can be managed with a variety of methods, including medication, physical therapy, alternative therapy, and surgery.
Do you suffer from arthritis? If you or a loved one needs help living a healthy, happy life at home due to arthritis or another health condition, contact Phoenix Home Care. We offer a variety of services, including nursing, therapy, companion care, housekeeping, running errands, shopping, respite care, and emergency babysitting. At our locations throughout Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Illinois, we are committed to improving the quality of life of the people we serve. For more information, please give us a call at 1-855-881-7442 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!