Inflammation or swelling in one or more joints is a common disorder also known as arthritis. This joint-related condition comprises about 100 diseases affecting the connective tissues, tissues around the joints, etc. Common signs and symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints. There are several types of arthritis and the symptoms vary based on their kind.

Types of arthritis: Symptoms:

Arthritis can affect any of the joints, some of the common symptoms include the following:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

Risk factors of the types of arthritis:

In order to devise a proper treatment plan, understanding the type of arthritis is important. The following are common risk factors of arthritis:

1.      Age:

The risk of arthritis increases with age like osteoarthritis (OA) & rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

2.     Gender:

Type of arthritis differs when it comes to gender, for instance, RA is more common among women. However, gout is more common in men.

3.     Obesity:

Excessive weight puts extra pressure on the spine, joints (especially knee joints), and the hip. Therefore, people with excessive weight or obesity have a higher risk of developing arthritis.

4.    Family history:

If anyone in your family; a sibling or either of the patients has arthritis, the chances are higher that you may get it. There are some kinds of arthritis that run in family.

5.     Previous injury:

If you have had any injury to the joint probably while playing sports, can increase the likely hood of developing arthritis in that joint.

Common Types of Arthritis:

There are about 100 different types of arthritis and conditions related to it. The question is, what are the two most common types of arthritis? OA & RA are the two most common types. Following are some of the most common forms of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Osteoarthritis (OA):

This type of arthritis is a degenerative disease and is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the kind of arthritis related to the wear and tear of the cartilage. This condition occurs due to overuse of the joints. Excessive weight also puts extra pressure on the joints, therefore, increasing the risk of OA. The joints most commonly affected by OA are the joints bearing the most weight, i.e., hips, knees, feet, and spine.

What happens with OA?

Cartilage acts as the shock absorber between two bones and with OA, this slippery material breaks down. Extra weight puts pressure on the cartilage, squeezes it and with time it wears off. And therefore, leaves the bone ends exposed as there is no cushioning layer in-between the two.

With no cushion between the joints, you can hear the grating sound every time the bones rub on each other. Some of the common symptoms of osteoarthritis include the following:

  • Deep pain
  • Pain while walking
  • Stiffness due to rest
  • Difficulty performing day-to-day tasks like,
    • Combing your hair
    • Bending
    • Gripping
    • Climbing stairs
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Hard to move

Moreover, the affected joint may be warm to the touch or swollen.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

This kind of arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It means that the immune system starts attacking the healthy parts of the body, which in this case are the joints. This causes inflammation in the joints but can also affect the entire body. There are two most common types of rheumatoid arthritis, which include; Seropositive & Seronegative. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis include the following:

  • Pain in more than one joint
  • Swelling and stiffness in more than one joint
  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss in appetite
  • Swollen joints

What is affected?

  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Shoulders

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS):

One rare type of arthritis is Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). This type occurs in the spine usually in the lower back causing pain and stiffness. The point where the sacroiliac joint meets the pelvis is where the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis usually begin. Some of the most common AS symptoms include the following:

  • Pain and stiffness in the lower back, buttocks, shoulder, hips, thighs, feet, etc.
  • Pain that gets worse in the morning
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness and pain after inactivity

What is affected?

The most commonly affected areas with ankylosing spondylitis include the following:

  • Shoulder joints
  • Hip joints
  • The joint between the pelvis and where the spine ends
  • Lower back vertebrae
  • The cartilage between the ribs and breastbone

Common differences between the Types of arthritis:

RA is the kind of arthritis that typically begins/affects the smaller joints first and is an autoimmune disorder. However, ankylosing spondylitis is the type of arthritis that affects the spine, especially the lower back. On the other hand, OA is degenerative arthritis involving the wear and tear of the cartilage.

When to seek medical attention?

In case you have swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints, consult a specialist.

Book your detailed consultation and specialized assessment with highly qualified KKT Orthopedic Consultants in Lahore, Karachi, and other operational KKT centers across Pakistan. For appointment booking, get in touch with us through our patient care line.

Phone: 0800-00-558

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