When some people hear the word ‘arthritis’, they usually think of one disorder. In reality, there are over 100 illnesses that can fall under the umbrella of that term and they’re categorized according to the type of joint pain or inflammation they can cause. By knowing how the symptoms can differ, it will be easy for you to determine what could be causing your pain.
This is the most common type of arthritis and happens when a joint is overused. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joints wear down and no longer protects the bones from rubbing together. The result is painful and inflamed joints.
Generally, this form of arthritis can be caused by an injury, age, obesity, or extended stress on weight-bearing joints. If you have osteoarthritis, a few of the symptoms you can expect are joint soreness, joint stiffness in the morning, and deep pain when walking.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the joints. In this case, there is likely to be a lot of joint damage over time if the disease isn’t treated quickly.
People with undiagnosed rheumatoid arthritis tend to experience significant pain and deformed joints. If you have this illness, you may have pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints that present in a symmetrical manner.
3. Juvenile Arthritis
As the name suggests, juvenile arthritis typically occurs in children under the age of 16. It’s a general term for a group of conditions that cause joint pain and inflammation in children.
The most common type is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. When children have arthritis, they may have pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints as well as joint misalignment. In some cases, they may also have a chronic fever and feel fatigued all the time.
4. Psoriatic Arthritis
In this condition, people who have the chronic skin condition, psoriasis, also have swollen joints. It most commonly affects the fingers but there are rare cases where people with the illness develop spine issues. If you have psoriasis, however, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically develop arthritis. Statistics show that it will only happen in 10-30% of people who have the disorder.
5. Infectious And Reactive Arthritis
Unlike other forms of arthritis, this form isn’t always chronic. In infectious arthritis, your body is responding to an infection in your body. This infection may or may not have started in your joints and is usually accompanied by a fever. Reactive arthritis, on the other hand, occurs when an infection triggers a dysfunctional reaction from your immune system.
The end result is joint pain and inflammation. In many cases, the infection is located in the gastrointestinal or reproductive system.
When your body has a buildup of uric acid, you get gout. This build-up can happen because your body is producing too much of the mineral, it’s not being managed properly in the body, or you’re eating too much of the foods that promote uric acid production.
With gout, you may have intense pain in your big toe but also in your ankles, knees, elbows, or wrists. The symptoms tend to be sudden and the discomfort will remain after the pain passes. It’s important to get gout under control quickly because it can lead to kidney and joint problems.
7. Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that affects your joints, connective tissue as well as certain organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs.
Apart from joint pain, people with this illness may also have chest pain, fever, hair loss, mouth sores, and swollen lymph nodes. It’s essential to learn how to manage this disease effectively.
This is another umbrella term for a set of autoimmune diseases that attack the tendons and ligaments that are attached to your bones. The specific areas that will be problematic depend on the type of disease you have.
For example, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can cause pain in your spine and lower back. Other symptoms to look out for include pain and stiffness in the hips, pelvis, as well as shoulders.
Even if you don’t see your exact symptoms on this list, you should never ignore chronic joint pain or inflammation. There are many conditions that aren’t listed here that could be affecting you. It’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible for an official diagnosis.