Types of Arthritis

Types of Arthritis

Understanding and Treating Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis and osteoarthritis are treatable diseases that affect the integrity and function of the joints in the body. The type of arthritis present determines which treatments and lifestyle changes are necessary to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Arthritis worsens over time, but in some cases the progression of the disease can be delayed with medications and lifestyle changes.

Types of Arthritis

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a condition that is usually caused by injury or normal wear-and-tear to the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is less common and is caused by an autoimmune disorder, or a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the joints. Some signs of rheumatoid arthritis include painful joint swelling on both sides of the body, fatigue and swelling around the affected joints.

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in children. The cause of the autoimmune disorder is currently unclear, but treatments are available for all types of arthritis. Treatments vary significantly based on the type of arthritis present in the body and the severity of symptoms.

Synopsis of Treatments

Currently, pain medications are combined with immunosuppressant medications in order to reduce flare-ups of autoimmune-caused arthritis. After remission, or the point when the flare-up subsides, some medications are discontinued until another flare-up occurs. Treatments for autoimmune arthritis can help prevent or delay joint damage, and can help prevent disfiguration of the joints. Early treatment is recommended for those with autoimmune types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is treated with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Treatments include injections of hyaluronic acid into the affected joints, over-the-counter pain medications and daily exercise, which helps maintain joint mobility.

Those with severe arthritis may take prescription medications, such as narcotic painkillers, and may be advised to lose weight to reduce stress on the joints. People with arthritis typically require treatment for their rest of their life, as the disease typically worsens over time.

Prognosis

Most people with arthritis can live an active life for an extended period of time. Most people experience a worsening of the disease over time, which can interfere with some types of activities. Some people may be able to delay the severe symptoms of the disease with early, aggressive treatment and by making the recommended lifestyle changes.

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