Helping each other through the pain of Arthritis. These are the most common types of arthritis. If I've missed one, please let me know and I'll add it.
Osteoarthritis: is the most common type of arthritis. It is often called wear & tear arthritis as this form of the disease occurs when there is destruction of the articular cartilage, i.e. the protective cartilage is worn away and new bone growth forms painful spurs resulting in joint pain and stifness.
Osteoarthritis usually affect the large weight bearing joints and the lumbar spine, the hands may also be affected.
Although there is no known cause of OA certain risk factors may precipitate the condition in susceptible individuals including:
Previous bone and joint diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis: is a serious auto-immune systemic inflammatory disease which can be life threatening and if untreated causes erosive joint damage.
In rheumatoid arthritis the synovioma, or lining of the joint is attacked resulting in pain, stiffness, swelling, joint damage, and loss of function. RA usually affects the small joints of the hands and feet, wrists, shoulders, elbows and tends to be symmetrical (occurring equally on both sides of the body).
People with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk than the general public and RA affects more women than men with a ratio of 3:1.
RA can develop gradually or start with a sudden attack and is often accompanied by a general feeling of fatigue, joint stiffness, persistent pain, swelling and inflammation in one or more joints.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): an umbrella term for arthritis in children. JIA can present at any age and in different ways. Children presenting with pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function of the joints, should be seen by a paediatric rheumatologist.
JIA may be associated with rashes or fevers, and may affect various parts of the body. Read about our camps for children and young adults with JIA here
Fibromyalgia: is a chronic pain disorder that causes muscular pain and tenderness throughout the body. Pain, stiffness, and localised tender points occur in the muscles and tendons, particularly those of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. Patients may also experience fatigue and sleep disturbances.
Systemic lupus erythematosus: systemic lupus erythematous (also known as lupus or SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system harms the body's own healthy cells and tissues. This can result in inflammation of and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain.
Scleroderma: scleroderma means literally "hard skin". The disease affects the skin, blood vessels and joints. It may also affect internal organs, such as the lungs and kidneys. In scleroderma, there is an abnormal and excessive production of collagen (a fibre-like protein) in the skin or internal organs. There are two main types of Scleroderma - "limited diffuse scleroderma" (CREST Syndrome) and scleroderma or systemic sclerosis.
Spondyloarthropathies: this group of auto-immune inflammatory rheumatic diseases includes:
Ankylosing spondylitis: occurs more frequently in men than women. AS usually affects the spine, but can also distress other joints, often the hips and shoulders. Ankylosing spondylitis often starts in late adolescence or early adulthood.
Psoriatic arthritis: belongs to the Spondyloarthropathies group and occurs in some people who have the skin disorder psoriasis. In psoriatic arthritis the small joints are affected especially the joints of the hands and feet and is often accompanied by pitting of the finger and toe nails.
Gout: this type of arthritis results from deposits of needle-like crystals of uric acid in the joints. Often occurring in the big toe, the crystals cause inflammation, swelling and pain. Other joints can also be affected and the condition can progress to gouty arthritis which can be extremely painful and debilitating. Familial high levels of uric acid can predispose some people to gout.
Reactive arthritis: is a general term describing forms of arthritis that develop following certain infections. The condition is sometimes called reiters syndrome.
Pain and swelling usually in the knees, ankles, or toes are often the first symptoms. Because the symptoms are similar to other serious rheumatoid conditions it is important to seek early medical advise to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment.
Polymyalgia rheumatica: is a rheumatic condition that causes great pain in the muscles and ligaments. PMR usually occurs in the over 50 age group with an average age of 70.
PMR can occur very suddenly with severe and painful stiffness especially in the early morning. The shoulders and hips are usually affected making it very difficult to get out of bed. Specific medications are required to treat this condition and these should be supervised by a GP.