Arthritis is the inflammation, tenderness, and swelling of one or more joints. The term ‘arthritis’ is an umbrella term for 100-200 musculoskeletal conditions. These conditions mainly include the joints and the connective tissues that surround them. Arthritis is a common condition that usually occurs abruptly or gradually. The peak of arthritis is primarily experienced by individuals in their late 60s. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk of developing arthritis than men of the same age. Obese individuals are more likely to experience arthritis from a young age, but it worsens until the age of 60-70.
According to the statistics shared by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 54.4 million adults in the USA suffer from arthritis. In the UK, 10 million people suffer from arthritis.
Here we will discuss the types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the structural and functional failure of joints due to the degeneration of cartilage. It is a degenerative joint disease, which is the most common condition of joints. In this intrinsic disorder of cartilage, the matrix undergoes breakdown due to mechanical and biochemical stresses. As the chondrocytes respond to these stresses, inflammatory mediators are released, which further deteriorates the condition.
The significant symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint pain that worsens with activity and age
- Crepitus, i.e., faint or loud popping or crackling sound which is painful and uncomfortable
- Limited range of movement
- Morning stiffness
- Compression of cervical and lumbar nerve root
- Radicular pain
- Muscle atrophy
- Neurologic deficits
- Muscle spasms
- Joint deformity
The joints commonly affected by osteoarthritis include:
- Cervical vertebrae
- Lower lumbar vertebrae
- Proximal and distal interphalangeal joints of fingers
- First tarsometatarsal joints
- First carpometacarpal joints
So far, medical science has not formulated any way to prevent or halt the progression of arthritis. However, the management of arthritis is possible.
- Therapy includes
- Management of pain
- NSAIDs to minimize inflammation
- Activity modification
- Intra-articular corticosteroids
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disorder that produces non-suppurative, inflammatory, and proliferative synovitis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the articular cartilage destroys and adhesion of joints, i.e., ankylosis occurs. It mainly includes the inflammation of tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscles. Moreover, extra-articular lesions also occur. These lesions are mainly located in the skin, blood vessels, lungs, and heart.
Since it is an autoimmune disease; therefore, genetics and environmental factors are the prime causes of rheumatoid arthritis development and progression. The susceptibility genes, such as HLA, and environmental factors, such as infection and smoking, cause failure of tolerance and activation of unregulated lymphocyte activation and enzymatic modification of self-proteins, respectively. Together they active the responses of T and B cells towards the self-antigens, including the antigens in joint tissues. The lymphocytes, antibodies, and immune complexes enter joints. Lymphocytes release protease and cytokines. Antibodies and immune complexes cause activation and proliferation of fibroblasts, chondrocytes, and synovial cells. Together they form pannus, a layer of vascular fibrous tissue over the bone and joint, and destroy bone and cartilage.
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes:
- Immunosuppressants such as TNF antagonists and methotrexate
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects children before the age of 16. | Source: Freepik.com
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a group of disorders. The cause of JIA is unknown. It mainly affects children before the age of 16. The duration for the persistence of arthritis symptoms is only six weeks.
In JIA, only 2-4 joints are affected. This is called oligoarthritis. These joints mainly include large joints such as knee and hip joints. Moreover, systemic disease is quite common. In systemic disease, the whole body is affected. Blood vessels, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin are most commonly involved. Only 10% of the affected individuals develop serious functional ability.
Infectious arthritis can spread rapidly. Therefore, the permanent destruction of joints takes place in a short span after the onset of symptoms. The bacteria which cause infectious arthritis enter the joint through a hematogenous route. They can enter the body through the oral cavity, rectum, respiratory passage, or a wound that reaches the joint through the blood.
The characteristic symptoms of infectious arthritis include
- Warm, swollen, and painful joints
- Limited range of motion
- Involvement of knees and hip joint
Treatment therapy includes:
- Anti-microbial therapy
Lyme disease is the most leading arthropod-borne disease. It is caused by a spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi often transmitted from deer ticks.
The affected synovial cavity develops chronic synovitis, which involves synoviocyte hyperplasia, fibrin deposition, mononuclear infiltrates, and onionskin thickening of arterial walls.
As the name indicates, this type of arthritis is caused by the deposition of crystals in the joints. The crystals include Monosodium Urate (MSU), calcium pyrosulphate dehydrate, and calcium phosphate. These are endogenous crystals that cause gout and pseudogout. Silicone, methyl methacrylate, and polyethylene are exogenous crystals that cause localized arthritis. These crystals trigger inflammatory reactions that destroy cartilage.
Bonus Video: Prevention and Treatment with different types of arthritis
What are the different types of arthritis?
What Type of Arthritis Do You Have?
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Juvenile arthritis.
- Lupus erythematosus.
- Infectious and reactive arthritis.
- Psoriatic arthritis.
What are the two main types of arthritis?
There are several different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms.
What is the most painful type of arthritis?
Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. This condition is caused by elevated levels of uric acid, a bodily waste product, in the bloodstream. Symptoms of gout occur when uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints and surrounding soft tissue, causing an inflammatory response in the affected areas.
What are the worst foods to eat in this condition?
- Processed foods.
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Sugar and certain sugar alternatives
- Red meat and fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- Cheese and high-fat dairy
Does it hurt all the time?
Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body. Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. Especially during exercise.
Are bananas bad for this condition?
Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Magnesium may also alleviate arthritis symptoms. Blueberries are full of antioxidants that protect your body against both inflammation and free radicals–molecules that can damage cells and organs
What causes arthritis to flare up?
The most common triggers of an OA flare are overdoing an activity or trauma to the joint. Other triggers can include bone spurs, stress, repetitive motions, cold weather, a change in barometric pressure, an infection, or weight gain. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory disease that affects the skin and joints.
Can you make it go away?
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years, and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there’s a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage. It may be difficult to say what has caused your arthritis. However, you should keep your body weight in check, and avoid being overweight.