Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a joint disorder where inflammation of one or more joints occurs. Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain referred to as arthralgia.

Updated: November 4, 2019


Arthritis is a joint disorder where inflammation of one or more joints occurs. Arthritis is frequently accompanied by joint pain referred to as arthralgia.
A joint is an area of the body where two bones meet which allow movement of the body parts it connects. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is wear and tear of cartilage. Other common rheumatic conditions related to arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
When arthritis affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue, it is a rheumatic condition.They have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons, and many have the potential to affect internal body areas as well. Rheumatic conditions tend to involve pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly and can impair the ability of a person to perform everyday tasks. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve the immune system and various internal organs of the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (SLE), can affect multiple organs. Arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but it can affect people of all ages, including children.  Physical activity has a positive effect on arthritis and can improve pain, function, and mental health. Injury, abnormal metabolism, genetic makeup, infections, and immune system dysfunction can contribute to the development of arthritis.
The goal of treatment of arthritis is to reduce joint pain and inflammation while preventing damage and improving and maintaining joint function.Treatment involves medications, physical therapies, and patient education and support to improve or maintain quality of life.

Types of Arthritis:

There are over 100 types of arthritis which are categorized into seven main groups:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
  • Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
  • Back pain
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Infectious arthritis
  • Metabolic arthritis

Some other type of Arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage, joint lining and ligaments, and underlying bone of a joint leading to pain and joint stiffness.
Hips, knees, hands, the spine, the base of the thumb, and the big toe joint are the most effected areas.

Childhood arthritis:

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), is the most common type in this category. This occurs due to immune system problems and can cause permanent damage to joints, and there is no cure.

Septic arthritis:

Septic arthritis is a joint inflammation that results from a bacterial or fungal infection which commonly affects the knee and hip. Either the bacteria spread through the blood to a joint, or the joint itself get infected with a microorganism through injury or surgery causing septic arthritis.
Bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, or Neisseria gonorrhoeae cause most cases of acute septic arthritis. Organisms such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Candida albicans cause chronic septic arthritis which less common than acute septic arthritis. 
Septic arthritis may occur at any age. It may occur before the age of 3 years in infants where the most common site of infection is the hip. Children with septic arthritis are more likely to get infected from Group B Streptococcus or Haemophilus influenzae if they have not been vaccinated.
Since the use of the H. influenzae b (Hib) vaccine became common, bacterial arthritis caused by infection with H. influenzae is rare now a days.
The risk of developing septic arthritis increases with

  • existing joint disease or damage
  • presence of bacteria in the blood
  • bacterial infection elsewhere in the body
  • medications that suppress the immune system
  • chronic illness or disease, such as diabetes, RA and sickle cell disease
  • conditions such as HIV, that weaken immunity
  • intravenous (IV) or injection drug use
  • artificial joint implants
  • recent joint injury
  • recent joint arthroscopy or other surgery
  • older age

Septic arthritis is a rheumatologic emergency as it can lead to rapid joint destruction and can also be fatal.

Sjogren's syndrome:

This is an autoimmune disorder that sometimes occurs along with RA and SLE. It involves the destruction of glands that produce tears and saliva. This causes dryness in the mouth and eyes and in other areas that usually need moisture, such as the nose, throat, and skin.
It can also affect the joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, liver, digestive organs, and nerves. It could lead to skin vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy, glomerulonephritis, and low levels of a substance known as C4. Adults aged 40 to 50 years, especially women are most affected by this disease. The condition affects tissues rather than the glands in many cases.


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