Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a joint disease, characterized by pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility. It is widespread in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can strike any of the joints, but occurs most frequently in the hands, feet, knees, hips, and lower back. There are several types of arthritis with a variety of causes.

The different causes are categorized as degenerative, inflammatory, metabolic, and infectious. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative form, is the most common variant of the disease. Though arthritic conditions are rarely curable, it is possible to manage symptoms and maintain joint movement with proper care.

Arthritis produces the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain

  • Loss of movement

  • Swelling

  • Stiffness

  • Tenderness

  • Grating sounds while joints are in use

  • Growth of bone spurs

Symptoms manifest differently, according to the type of arthritis. For example, osteoarthritis tends to develop gradually as a person ages, while rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, progresses more rapidly after onset.