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The Most Important Things to Know About Different Kinds of Arthritis

Updated on May 20, 2013

Different Kinds of Arthritis

Contrary to common belief, there are hundreds of types of arthritis. The word arthritis means 'inflammation of the joints', being derived from the Greek 'athron,' meaning joints, and 'itis,' meaning inflammation.

The most frequent forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, osteo being a degenerative joint disease occurring mainly in the older age group, affecting mostly hips, knees, spine and hands. Rheumatoid a much more serious disease which can affect the joints in hips, knees, feet, wrists and fingers, as well as the muscles, tendons and other tissues.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, which is the cell lining inside the joint. It is believed to be mainly a genetic disease.

Juvenile Arthritis

More Arthritis Types

Juvenile arthritis, believe it or not, is quite common. There are different kinds of arthritis in children, too, Rheumatoid being the most prevalent in youngsters.

Arthritis can be Pauciarticular, meaning affects only a few joints.
Polyarticular, affecting many joints, or Systemic, affecting one's entire body.

Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid. Includes inflammation of the joints and sometimes of the spine, and occurs in a small percentage of people with psoriasis (chronic skin disease).

Gout is a form of arthritis which occurs most frequently in the toes, and causes swelling of the joints, with severe attacks of pain and redness.
These symptoms are caused by uric acid crystals deposited in the joint by the blood.

CPDD (calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate deposition disease) is known as a pseudo-gout but it's caused by deposits of calcium phosphate crystals as opposed to a uric acid crystals. It is a very different disease, so needs different treatment.

Infectious arthritis is caused by virus, fungus, or bacteria and is a form of joint inflammation.
Reiters syndrome, or reactive arthritis is inflammation of the joints and/or ligaments and tendons. Reiters sufferers will have arthritis plus another condition such as; urethritis, cervicitis, conjunctivitis, prostatitis, or skin sores.

Because there are so many types of arthritis it is not uncommon for people to take the wrong treatment for their disease, which is why, at least until you are sure of which arthritis you have, a doctor should be consulted.

Answering the question 'what is arthritis?' is complex, as there are so many types of the disease. All I can do is tell you the most important things to know about different kinds of arthritis, although listed here are only a few of the types of arthritis, but the most common.

Arthritis is a very painful disease, but can be controlled. Doctors can prescribe medication, or there are several natural products which can help. Once you discover what is arthritis, and which type you have, you just need to find the right solution for you.


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