There are several types of arthritis and it’s important to know which one you have. There are some similarities between these conditions, but there are also some key differences.
This is the most common type among arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in women and usually affects people from the age of 45 and above. The body parts commonly affected are the knees, hands, hips, and back. It starts with cartilage roughening. When this happens the body tries to put itself in a repair process to try to make up for the loss of this important substance.
Keeping active will help you maintain a healthy weight, and this will reduce the pressure on your joints. Overweight can make you more likely to get osteoarthritis and can make it worse.
Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce your symptoms and allow you to stay active. Keeping active will also reduce pain, stiffness and swelling.
2. Gout and calcium crystal diseases.
This type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. When there is too much uric acid in your body and when it'sin excess it forms crystals around your joints causing pain and swelling. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body. Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.
Avoid being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks that can cause you to store more urate in their body. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout as well.
Drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks.
Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women it’s more common after the menopause. The use of water tablet increase the risk of gout.
3. Rheumatoid arthritis.
This is the second most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It is what is known as an auto-immune condition.
The immune system is the body’s natural self-defence system, and it protects us from infections and illness. When someone has an auto-immune condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy tissues, such as the joints, causing inflammation.
Inflammation is normally an important tool in the immune system. It occurs when the body sends extra blood and fluid to an area to fight an infection. This is what is happening for example if you have a cut that gets infected, and the skin around it becomes swollen and a different colour.
However, in rheumatoid arthritis the inflammation and extra fluid in a joint causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint. Starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.
There are drugs available that can slow down an over-active immune system and therefore reduce the pain and swelling in joints.
This is used to describe a number of conditions that cause pain and swelling, around the joints of the spine.
In these conditions there is inflammation of small pieces of connected tissues, called entheses. These are tough little cords that join either ligaments or tendons to bones.
5. Ankylosing spondylitis.
This is a type of spondyloarthritis and it causes pain and swelling, mainly around the joints of the spine.
In this condition, in response to inflammation around the spine, the body can create more of the mineral calcium. This mineral is normally used by the body to make bones strong. However, in ankylosing spondylitis the extra calcium can make new bits of bone grow in the spine, and this will cause pain and stiffness.
There are drugs that can slow this process down. Keeping active will help to minimise stiffening of the spine, while maintaining a good posture will help prevent increased curving of the spine.
6. Psoriatic arthritis.
This is an auto-immune condition. The body’s immune system can cause painful swelling and stiffness in and around joints, as well as a red skin rash called psoriasis. The rash affect several places in the body, including the elbows, knees, back, buttocks and scalp.
There are variety of treatments, such as creams and medications for psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis usually affects people who already have psoriasis. However, some people develop the arthritis before the psoriasis. It’s possible to have the arthritis but no psoriasis at all.
7. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
This is normally diagnosed in people with inflammatory arthritis before their eighteen birthday, it’s called JIA in short.
There are different types of JIA. They are auto-immune conditions, and the immune system can cause pain and swelling in joints.
It is better to be diagnosed with JIA earlier so that effective treatment can be started and limit any body.
There are drugs such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs that can treat the symptoms to relieve your pain.
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