What are the different types of arthritis?
The word “Arthritis” literally means ‘inflammation of a joint’. Osteoarthritis is commonly referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis. It is progressive and is caused by a combination of factors including age, weight, previous injury, high-level sports, and occupational hazards. Normally, joint surfaces are covered in smooth cartilage that allows bones to glide past each other easily. Wearing away of this cartilage can eventually lead to bone rubbing on bone. This can result in additional loss of cartilage, formation of bone spurs, damage to bone, and soft tissue inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune process, causing the body to attack its own soft tissues and joints. It most commonly occurs in hands and feet, but can also cause problems in the neck, shoulder, and elbow. Several other conditions can cause arthritis, including psoriasis, gout, infection, and bleeding disorders. Your doctor can determine what type of arthritis you have through physical examination, xrays, and blood tests.