Understanding Arthritis: Three Top Types

Pain from arthritis is one of the most common complaints that orthopedic specialists hear from their patients for the simple reason that it’s one of the most common of ailments. In fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis and over 200 classifications of arthritic conditions that can affect every part of the body.

But there are three main types of arthritis that most commonly afflict people. And although most sufferers think that arthritis pain is just a normal and unavoidable part of aging and injury, there are effective treatments and medications that can alleviate the symptoms and even cure the condition completely.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

By far the most common of the three types, this condition arises from the normal wear and tear on joints as people age, but it can also be caused by injury and obesity. Joints are protected by a slippery tissue called cartilage that acts as a cushion for the bones that make up a joint. When this tissue breaks down, the bones and roughened cartilage rub together with movement, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. 33474768_s

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

This type of arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking the tissues surrounding the joints and sometimes other areas. It’s not clearly understood why this happens, but the immune system seems to consider these normal tissues as an infection. This reaction causes inflammation and severe pain, and left untreated RA can cause permanent damage to the joints.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PA)

PA begins with a skin condition called psoriasis, which causes inflammation of the skin and red, flaky areas, especially on the knees, elbows, scalp and sometimes other areas. About 10% of people suffering from psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, evidenced by swelling of the fingers and toes and often by discolored and pitted nails. It also affects joints to a lesser extent.

If you’re suffering discomfort and pain from an arthritic condition, the orthopedic professionals at AOSMI can help. Call 732-720-2555 to schedule an appointment, or fill out the online form.