Understanding the Different Types of Arthritis

Understanding the Different Types of Arthritis

More than 100 types of arthritis exist, though just a few account for most of the cases that affect

more than 50 million American adults. Arthritis causes joints to ache, stiffen, and swell, and even a mild case can interfere with your daily life. If you’re diagnosed with arthritis, it helps to learn everything you can, including the type of arthritis you have. 

At the Spine and Pain Institute of Florida, our pain management specialist Navdeep Jassal, MD, helps patients manage pain stemming from arthritis. Dr. Jassal uses the latest in pain management treatment to help you get much-needed relief so you can get back to doing the things you love. 

In this blog, our experts discuss the different types of arthritis, and each may affect your body. 

Arthritis overview

Arthritis is a painful joint disease that can make it challenging to perform regular everyday activities such as climbing stairs and opening jars. Most types of arthritis are categorized as either inflammatory or degenerative. Here’s more about each.

Degenerative arthritis

Degenerative types of arthritis are due to wear and tear that results in changes to the joints. The cartilage that cushions your joints breaks down, allowing your bones to rub together. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of degenerative arthritis. Here’s more information about this type of arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis

More than 32 million people in the United States are living with osteoarthritis. It can affect any joint in your body, but most often affects the hands, hips, and knees. If you have osteoarthritis, you may experience:

Joint stiffness in osteoarthritis is usually worse early in the morning upon waking and gradually improves throughout the day. Osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time as the joint continues to break down. 

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, and there’s no way to reverse the joint damage. The goal of treatment is to slow progression of the disease and alleviate the symptoms of pain and stiffness so you function better and can maintain a good quality of life. 

Anyone can develop osteoarthritis. However, some people are more likely to develop it than others. Major risk factors include:

Regular exercise can minimize the severity of osteoarthritis. 

Inflammatory arthritis

In inflammatory arthritis, an abnormal immune system response causes ongoing joint inflammation. Types of arthritis that fall into this category generally affect several joints throughout your body simultaneously. Inflammatory arthritis is less prevalent than degenerative arthritis.  

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects an estimated 1.5 million adults. The immune system behaves abnormally and launches an ongoing attack on healthy joint tissue. Anyone can develop RA, but women are more likely to develop it than men, and people with other autoimmune diseases are at a higher risk of developing RA. 

RA usually affects the same joint on both sides of your body and may cause symptoms in other parts of the body, including the skin and lungs. Symptoms often begin gradually and worsen over time. 

Because immune system activity may change from day to day, people with RA may have symptoms that vary widely from one day to the next. Additionally, people with RA tend to have flare-ups followed by periods where symptoms are mild or unnoticeable (remission). The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and extend remission periods.  

In addition to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, RA may cause fatigue, fever, trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, and numbness or tingling

Arthritis treatment

Patients with arthritis under Dr. Jassal’s care receive individualized treatment plans to ease pain and minimize the impact on your daily life. 

Our treatment for arthritis patients may include:

With treatment, people with arthritis can lead healthy, normal lives. 

If you’re living with arthritis or have joint pain, Dr. Jassal and our Spine and Pain Institute of Florida team can help you achieve relief. To schedule an evaluation, call our office or use our online scheduling form to send your booking request. Our knowledgeable and friendly team members are standing by to help you get started. 

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