The Different Types of Arthritis and How to Treat Your Arthritis

While May is a time to celebrate the start of summer, this month is also National Arthritis Awareness Month. With 100 plus different types of arthritis and related conditions, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. While arthritis affects both men and women, it is actually more common in women. So, what are the most common types of arthritis and how can they be treated?

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is one of the most common types of arthritis. Over time, the cartilage in the joints can wear away, leaving the bone rubbing against bone. This can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint. Some risk factors for this type of arthritis can include excessive weight gain, family history, age, and previous injury. When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can be managed by balancing activity with rest, using hot and cold therapies, regular physical activity, healthy weight, strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support, assistive devices, over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines, and avoiding excessive repetitive movements.

Inflammatory Arthritis

The immune system’s job function is to protect the body. This system generates internal inflammation to get rid of the infection and prevent diseases. But the immune system can go awry, mistakenly attacking joints with uncontrolled inflammation, causing joint erosion, and damaging internal organs, eyes, and other parts of the body. These types of arthritis include rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Most researchers believe that inflammatory arthritis is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors like smoking, which trigger an autoimmune response. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatments are critical when experiencing inflammatory arthritis. Slowing down the disease’s activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent damage. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage.

Infectious Arthritis

Infectious arthritis is caused by a bacterium, virus, or fungus that enters the joint and triggers inflammation. Some organisms that cause this type of arthritis include salmonella, shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis C. In many cases, timely treatment with antibiotics can clear up the joint infection but arthritis may become chronic even after treatment.

With the right treatments and therapies, you may be able to live a normal life with your arthritis. For more information on easing your arthritis pains, call Pain and Spine Specialists today!

Call Pain and Spine Specialists Today!

Pain and Spine Specialists treats many conditions and injuries of the back, neck, and spine by taking a whole-person approach to care. Our focus is getting you back on your feet in good health. In Maryland call 301.703.8767, or call 724.603.3560 in Pennsylvania to make an appointment.

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