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Types of arthritis

There is more than one type or arthritis. This condition affects joints and leads to their inflammation and damage to specific structures of the joints. Since there is a variety of types of arthritis it is clear that there is no unique treatment but it generally depends on the specific type of the disease.

Among many types of arthritis the most frequent ones are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Apart from these two types of arthritis another common form is psoriatic arthritis, the inflammation of joints that affects certain number of patients suffering from psoriasis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease and it is estimated that this particular condition affects approximately 33 million people in the United States. The condition may affect people who are engaged in demanding sports, obese people and it is also associated with the process of aging. Osteoarthritis is common in athletes, people who have had an injury in young adulthood while osteoarthritis of the hands predominantly affects middle-aged women. This particular type of arthritis affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, feet and spine. Inflammation features with pain, fatigue, warmth of the affected joints, morning stiffness and joint swelling.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is estimated that rheumatoid arthritis represents one of the most common types of arthritis. The condition is more frequent among women. Rheumatoid arthritis leads to chronic inflammation of the affected joints and their irreversible damage. The most commonly affected joints are the knuckles, elbows and heels.

The symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis develop either gradually or suddenly. Patients basically complain about intensive pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, stiffness of the affected joints and sometimes fever. One specific feature of rheumatoid arthritis is that the process of inflammation affects joints in a symmetrical pattern. The condition can be very severe and interfere in even the simplest daily activities. Severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis lead to significant long-term disability.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is also a chronic condition. It starts as skin condition and eventually affects joints. Approximately 10% of all people suffering from psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis. In this condition the process of inflammation may affect one or several joints.

Psoriatic arthritis occurs between the age of 30 and 50 and affects both genders equally. In some cases psoriatic arthritis may start during childhood. This type of arthritis generally affects the knees, ankles and feet. However, there is also a chance of inflammation of the spine and the sacrum. The affected joints are painful, swollen, hot and red. In case the process of inflammation affects the finger joints swelling the finger may resemble a 'sausage'.

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