Arthritis is a condition that can cause the joints to become inflamed, causing pain and stiffness. Joint pain can make it difficult to go on with your day-to-day activities or fall into a restful sleep.
This guide talks about the types of arthritis, its causes and symptoms, and some of the treatment options for the various types of arthritis.
The Different Types of Arthritis
There are many different types of arthritis, however, the most common types treated by orthopedic doctors are:
This is the most prevalent form of arthritis, a chronic disease that usually affects the weight-bearing joints of the knee and hip, slowly destroying the protective cartilage over the joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
RA is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly attacks the joints, usually the smaller ones in the hands and feet first.
A gout is a complex form of arthritis that results from a buildup of uric acid in the joint. The buildup forms sharp crystals in the joint that cause pain with movement. Gout commonly affects the joint in the big toe but it can affect other joints as well.
What Causes Arthritis?
Here are some of the most common risk factors for arthritis:
- Age – Osteoarthritis risk increases with age and is commonly associated with seniors
- Injury or Joint Overuse – Previous joint injuries or repetitive use of joints, such as in certain occupations or sports, can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis
- Obesity – Excessive weight puts additional stress on the weight-bearing joints, which could accelerate the breakdown of the joint cartilage.
- Genetics – RA has a genetic component and tends to run in families
- Autoimmune factors – With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues, including joints
- Diet – A diet high in red meat and shellfish increases uric acid levels in the blood and results in the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints
- Medical conditions – High blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic medical conditions can increase the risk of developing gout
- Being overweight – If you are overweight, your body produces more uric acid, which makes it difficult for the kidneys to eliminate enough uric acid from the blood
What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
Arthritis symptoms may vary from person to person, and different types can have similar symptoms:
- Worsening joint pain with movement or activity
- Stiffness is worst after inactivity or after waking up in the morning
- Tenderness when you apply light pressure on the joint
- Loss of range of motion or flexibility
- The joint feels warm, tender, and swollen
- Symptoms felt in the fingers and toes may spread to the wrists and ankles
- Rheumatoid arthritis can cause fatigue, a general feeling of tiredness
- Intense joint pain usually in the big toe but can spread to other joints
- Joint inflammation and redness
- The pain comes and goes
- Limited range of motion of the joint
It’s important to seek medical advice from professionals for personalized guidance on managing arthritis.
Arthritis Treatment in Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, and Fulton, MD
The board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) have advanced training in the treatment of arthritis. We treat arthritis in all joints – from hip arthritis treatment to hand arthritis, we can relieve your pain.
We have a caring team dedicated to helping you find relief from your painful symptoms. We combine treatments that we think will give you the best possible outcomes and offer on-site physical therapy services.
Don’t wait until the pain gets worse. Find out what your options are for treatment. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, use our request form or call our office at (410) 644-1880. We look forward to helping you manage your arthritis!