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Different Types of Arthritis

There are more than 100 different type of arthritis recognized by medical science till today. Arthritis is a generic name associated with different conditions of musculoskeletal system of human body. It can be as minor as tendonitis and as lethal as systemic lupus erythematosus. It is associated with change in the joints due to degeneration or inflammation, if it affects one joint it is called monoarticulararthritis and if many joints are affected than it is referred as polyarthritis.

Few different types of arthritis, considered as most prevalent by WHO, are, rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic type affecting one or many joints and most prevalent in young people specially women. Onset of the disease accompanies fever, enlargements of spleen and lymphatic glands and muscle-spasms.

Fibromyalgia is a very different type of arthritis, normally arthritis affects joints, but fibromyalgia does not affect joints at all. In fact it affects muscles, tandons and ligaments. Tennis elbow is another name of this disease. Though it does not cause any permanent damage but pain and tiredness can last for months and years. Gout is one of the oldest types of arthritis caused due to settlement of uric acid in the form of salts and crystals at the joints. This cause acute arthritis attacks.

Ankylosing spondylitis is inflammatory form of arthritis mainly affecting joints between spine and pelvic region. It mostly affects man compared to woman. Its symptoms are confusing and in later stages it may lead to hunched up posture. Another very different type is, reaction arthritis, it comes about as a reaction to infections like Chlamydia, campylobacter, salmonella or yersinia and by genetic dispositions. It is common in young adults. Pseudogout arthritis has been given this name because of its resembling symptoms with gout. The difference between these two is that salt and crystals settling at joints are of calcium pyrophosphate rather than of uric acid as in the case of gout.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder causing the immunity system to turn against own body. It can be life threatening. It affects joints, skin and internal organs. Mostly occurs in the age 10-50 and in woman. Another very common type is cervical spondylosis which occurs due to shrinkage of shock absorbing disks of the vertebrae.

Psoriatic arthritis affects both men and women in equal ratio. It causes scaly growth of rough tissues around the joints. Though this disease is not as crippling as other types are, but if left untreated may cause disability and deformity. There is no cure available to treat psoriatic arthritis, change in life style, physical therapy and exercise help in curing the pain and controlling joint damage.

Infectious or septic or pyogenic arthritis is a serious infection of joints which can lead to complete loss of joint function. Overall there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, there prevalence depends upon the climatic conditions, life style and genetics too, as few types of arthritis common in USA or European countries does not surface in tropics.

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