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What are the Different Types of Arthritis & Symptoms

Akanksha Nigam

What is arthritis?

Are you noticing a constant pain when you move your joints – like your fingers, knees, elbow, etc.? It might be because of a disease called arthritis. Arthritis is swelling in one or more of your joints. It usually involves inflammation or degeneration of joints leading to pain or discomfort when you use the joint. There is no fixed age when arthritis starts. It can happen to children, adults, and older people but women and older people are at a higher risk of developing this disease.

Arthritis mainly affects the following joints:

  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Lower Back

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US.

Anatomy of a Joint

Our joints have a shield of soft tissues which prevent two bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage ensures that our joints move smoothly without any friction. Some joints have a padded pocket of fluid to lubricate the joints. Many joints get support from tendons and ligaments also. Any damage to either of these can result in pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Symptoms vary among the different types of arthritis. They also vary from person to person. Some may have mild symptoms while others may have severe symptoms. They may come and go, stay for some years or even get worse over time. The initial symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth
  • Reduced motion of joints

Causes of Arthritis

While there are different causes depending on the type of arthritis, the common causes are:

  • Family history
  • A  occupation or sport that puts regular stress on the joints
  • Autoimmune diseases or infections

What are the 5 types of Arthritis?

1. Osteoarthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis affecting most of the people worldwide. It occurs mainly in the hand, hips, knees, and spine. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease meaning that the protective cartilage which cushions the joint wears down over time. Daily use causes wear and tear and may cause inflammation, injury to the joint or tendons, changes in the bones, and deterioration of the ligaments resulting in pain, swelling, deformity of the joint and discomfort. Research has now revealed that osteoarthritis is a disease of the whole joint and not only of cartilage. The bones of the affected joint become weaker, the tissue that holds the joints breaks down and the joint lining also becomes damaged because of inflammation.

Someone suffering from osteoarthritis may also notice other symptoms such as:

  • A grating sensation while using the joint
  • Popping or cracking of the joint
  • Formation of hard lumps around the joint.

There are two main types of osteoarthritis:

  • Primary- which affects the fingers, spine, thumbs, knees, hips, and  big toe.
  • Secondary- which occurs because of a pre-existing joint abnormality, including trauma or injury. 

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an ongoing autoimmune disease. It occurs because the immune system mistakenly starts attacking the tissues of the body. This type of arthritis affects the lining of the joints leading to inflammation. Uncontrolled inflammation damages the cartilage, deforms the joint, erodes the bone, and eventually leads to the fusion of the joint. This fusion is the body’s way to protect itself from irritation in the joint. The main identifying factor of rheumatoid arthritis is that it affects the same joint on both the sides of the body. 

The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can affect other parts of the body too such as – eyes, skin, mouth, lungs, heart, kidneys, etc. Research has shown that about  40% of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis face problems with other body parts also.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Flare-ups (significant symptoms after a period of relief)

3. Ankylosing Spondylitis

This type of arthritis affects the spine and the pelvis. It causes chronic pain and inflammation in the sacroiliac joints. Those suffering with AS may experience persistent back and hip pain along with stiffness in the spine. The symptoms of AS may be intermitent. Over time, the joints or vertebrae can fuse together and make the spine rigid, resulting in a hunched posture. If ribs are also affected, it becomes difficult to breathe deeply.

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are:

There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis. However, through correct treatment and rehabilitation for AS can lessen the discomfort and slow the progression of this condition.

4. Gout Arthritis

This is a common form of arthritis mainly affecting the big toe. It occurs due to the deposit of uric acid crystals and causes ntensive pain and discomfort in the toe or other affected joint. Normally, uric acid dissolves in the blood and passes through the urine. But sometimes, the body can produce too much or excrete too little uric acid. If either happens, uric acid can form sharp needle like crystals in a joint. These crystals cause the consequent discomfort.

Gout arthritis is characterized by sudden bouts of severe pain in the toe or the affected joint, occurring mostly at night.

Symptoms of gout are:

  • Attacks of severe pain
  • Swelling and redness
  • Affected joint becomes hot or feels like it is ‘on fire’

To prevent gout, it is important to stay hydrated and exercise regularly. These two actions aid in  the removal of uric acid from the body.

5. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease mostly affecting people with psoriasis. It occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the body. It can affect any part of the body including the spine and fingertips. Prior to a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, most people are first diagnosed with psoriasis, a genetic issue.  It is also possible in some cases to develop psoriatic arthritis before psoriasis. 2-3% population in the US is affected by psoriasis. It occurs mostly in the age group of 35-55 years.

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include

  • Swollen fingers or toes
  • Pain in areas where tendons and ligaments attach to the bones
  • Changes in the appearace of nails

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. Treatments to control symptoms and prevent joint damage is the only solution.

Best Products for Arthritis Pain Relief 

HPFY carries a wide range of products designed to help in the dealing with arthritis

1. Rolyan Neoprene Pull On Thumb Support 

Rolyan Neoprene Pull-On Thumb Support provides warmth and compression to reduce pain in the thumb and wrist. This FSA-approved thumb brace is helpful and sure to support the joints of people with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or any other hand-debilitating injury. It helps prevent overuse while allowing maximum hand function. The soft nylon terry lining gives a seamless feel to ensure comfort while helping absorb perspiration. It is also available in an easy-to-pull-on style with hook and loop closure.

2.Push Metagrip Thumb CMC Orthosis

Push MetaGrip Thumb CMC Orthosis supports the thumb and CMC joint. It offers a custom fit and can be worn under a glove. The latex-free Push MetaGrip does not deform in a warmer environment and is suitable for machine wash. Ideal for post-operative care and a sophisticated solution for osteoarthritis. Push Metagrip CMC Brace provides joint stability and support where it is needed the most. It facilitates the balanced use of the stabilizing thumb muscles.

Hely & Weber CMC Controller Plus

The Hely & Weber CMC Controller Plus is ideal for those who are looking for pain relief and correct thumb positioning. It features a malleable stay that grips the thumb and lifts the metacarpal to provide relief from pain. The product can be trimmed to suit the user’s hand anatomy. The CMC Controller Plus is FSA approved and comes with a patient assist strap that makes single-hand application easy.

Rolyan Neoprene Pull On Thumb Support

 

Push MetaGrip Thumb CMC Orthosis

 

Hely & Weber CMC Controller Plus

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

 


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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