Arthritis refers to inflammation of a joint and/or joint pain. There are many different types of arthritis and, over time, the symptoms may become more and more severe, leading to loss of range of motion and/or inability of the joint to support weight.
Evaluating Your Condition
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS?
- Joint Pain
Over time, the symptoms may become more and more severe, leading to loss of range of motion and/or inability of the joint to support weight.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ARTHRITIS?
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form and is due to the normal “wear-and-tear” of the joint due to our daily activities. Over time, normal use of our joints causes the cartilage at the end of the bone to wear down (like the wearing down of the tread on your tires). As the cartilage wears away, there is more friction, which leads to inflammation. Eventually, the cartilage can completely wear away, leading to “bone-on-bone” conditions, which can be extremely painful.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis where the body’s own immune system attacks the capsule around the joint. This results in severe inflammation of the joint, with the joint often becoming swollen, warm, stiff, and painful. Unlike osteoarthritis, gentle movement often improves the pain in mild cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Gout is a recurrent inflammatory arthritis that is most common in the big toe (metatarsal-phalangeal joint). Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, leading to the deposition of uric acid crystals into the joint.
- Septic arthritis is caused by an infection within the joint and is always a medical emergency! Untreated infections within a joint can destroy the joint very rapidly and then spread to the rest of the body resulting in sepsis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is inflammatory (auto-immume) arthritis of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. It often starts as a dull pain in the lower back or buttocks. As the disease progresses, patients lose range of motion in the spine, leading to more severe stiffness and pain.
Common Treatments Available for Arthritis
The specific treatment chosen by your doctor will depend on the type of arthritis that you have, the severity of your symptoms, and any other medical issues that you are currently experiencing. Your specific treatment plan may include one or many of these options.