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How Many Types of Arthritis are There?

Every day you see a plethora of commercials on TV for various medications, including those for different types of arthritis. This has probably led you to wonder just how many types of arthritis are there? I bet it would surprise you to hear there are over 100 different types of arthritis!

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What Types of Arthritis Are There?

While there are 100 types of arthritis, a few are much more common than the rest. The five most common types of arthritis are:

  • osteoarthritis

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • psoriatic arthritis

  • gout

  • lupus

Other conditions found on a list of arthritis types that you may be less familiar with include juvenile idiopathic arthritis, reactive arthritis, septic arthritis, thumb arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Joint pain and stiffness is a symptom of all types of arthritis. The cause of that joint pain and how it affects the body is generally what differentiate the various types.

List of Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is a result of the “wear and tear” that occurs on the joints. The cartilage between the bones of the joints breaks down due to either injury or age, causing the bones to grind against each other.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints. The joints become inflamed and damaged. It is more painful than osteoarthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammation of the skin and joints. People with this condition have patchy, red, white, and inflamed areas of skin with scales. Around 10 to 30% of those with psoriasis will also get psoriatic arthritis.

Gout is a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, most commonly the big toe. Attacks of gout generally last between 3 and 10 days. There could be months or even years in between attacks of gout. The symptoms generally come on very suddenly.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body.

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that causes the vertebra in the spine to fuse together over time.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children below the age of 16. It can cause persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Some patients only experience pain for a few months, while others can experience it for many years.

Reactive arthritis is inflammation triggered by an infection in another part of the body and generally affects the knees, ankles, and feet.

Septic arthritis is a particularly painful form of arthritis that occurs when germs from an infection travel through the bloodstream and enter a joint. It is more commonly found in infants and older adults.

Thumb arthritis is exactly what it sounds like - painful joint inflammation in the thumb. It most commonly occurs with aging and may need surgery to be corrected.

All types of arthritis are painful and can make normal daily activities more challenging. Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing joint pain and they can help determine the cause and the treatment plan that is right for you.