Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. It can affect a single joint or several joints and is caused by the wear and tear a joint is subjected to.

Although the cause of Osteoarthritis is unknown there are some known risk factors.

  • It tends to run in families
  • It is more common in people who are overweight
  • Long term heavy use such as heavy labour and sports can increase the risk
  • Previous joint or bone injury  

Rheumatoid

arthritis is a systemic disease and is another common form of arthritis. It not only affects the joints of the individual but also occasionally can affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves. Another aspect of rheumatoid arthritis is it is symmetrical, meaning that if it affects a joint one one side of the body,it will also affect the same joint on the other side of the body.

As with osteoarthritis, there is no known cause but it seems to be caused by a combination of hormonal, environmental and genetic factors. It seems that the immune system is caused to attack the body due to a virus or bacteria. One theory suggests that smoking is the immune system attack.

Early diagnosis and treatment is important to reduce the effects of the disease and delay its progression.

Juvenile arthritis is the term used for any type of arthritis that affect children. Rheumatoid juvenile arthritis is the most common form of arthritis in children. For a diagnosis to be made the child must be under 16 years of age and the condition must last for more than 6 weeks.

Gout is an arthritis type disease that differs from many other types in that it develops quickly (sometimes overnight) and normally goes away in between a few days and a couple of weeks without treatment. A person can experience gout only once in a lifetime or it can be an occasional condition or it can become chronic.

Gout occurs when the bloodstream has a high level of uric acid which crystallizes in the joint lubricating fluid.  Uric acid will sometimes be elevated by the consumption of seafood and organ meats and excessive consumption of alcohol (particularly beer). Prompt medical attention can resolve this disease in a matter of hours or days.

Risk Factors for Arthritis

Because there are so many types of arthritis the risk factors can vary greatly however below are some general factors that are common.

  1. Obesity – Being  overweight can contribute to the cause of arthritis and/or aggravate its symptoms
  2. Genetics – Arthritis tends to be common in some families
  3. Gender – Females generally suffer more from arthritis
  4. Age – The older a person gets, the more likely they are to contract arthritis
  5. Previous injury – Joints that have been injured at some time are more likely to become arthritic

THIS MATERIAL DOES NOT CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR SPECIFIC TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS.