Understanding the Different Types of Arthritis and Their Treatments

Arthritis encompasses more than 100 rheumatic conditions that result in joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Natural wear and tear or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause these issues.

Many arthritis treatment Orange Park FL, are available to help control pain and prevent joint damage. It is crucial to know the specific type of arthritis you have to receive the appropriate treatment.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent form of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage safeguards joint breaks down. This can lead to discomfort and rigidity in weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and feet.

Cartilage is a tough, rubbery substance that covers the ends of bones inside a joint, helping them glide smoothly over each other. Without the cartilage, bones would rub against each other directly, causing pain and stiffness.

OA symptoms include:

  • Pain that may get worse over time.
  • Stiffness in the affected joint that gets better after rest.
  • Changes in how the joint moves.

Some people also have a feeling that the joint is loose or unstable.

Treatment for OA includes pain-relieving medicine, such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It’s important to consult your doctor to determine the most suitable medication for your condition. In cases of more intense symptoms, cortisone injections can alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation for a limited period.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means the body’s natural self-defense system gets confused and attacks healthy tissue in joints. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness in more than one joint. It usually develops over several years, and some people have times when their symptoms get worse (flare-ups).

Arthritis

Normally, joints are covered with cartilage, which acts like a slippery cushion absorbing shock and helping the bones move smoothly. In rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation causes the cartilage to break down and lose its smooth surface. Over time this can cause pain, stiffness, and damage to the surrounding tissues.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but treatment can control the symptoms and reduce joint damage. This includes medications and surgery to replace damaged joints. There is also a lot of research to find new treatments for rheumatoid and other types of arthritis. The aim is to find better ways to treat arthritis so people can live normal life and avoid permanent damage.

Spondyloarthritis

Spondyloarthropathies are an umbrella term for six diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling where ligaments and tendons attach to bones (entheses). The condition primarily affects the spine and pelvis but can also involve the joints in the arms or legs.

Symptoms include a stiff back, especially first thing in the morning or after prolonged immobility, and pain that improves with movement. Doctors sometimes use the HLA-B27 blood test to help distinguish spondyloarthritis from noninflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Doctors can determine if a person has spondyloarthritis based on a combination of symptoms, such as inflammation in the entheses of the feet or hands, a history of back pain, a family history of the disease, inflammatory eye disease, uveitis or Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, and an abnormal X-ray appearance of the spine. Axial spondyloarthritis — ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and reactive arthritis — are more common than peripheral spondyloarthritis.

Gout

Gout occurs when uric acid levels, a waste product in your blood, build up. This happens when your kidneys can’t process uric acid properly or when you eat too many foods high in purines, which are found in red meat, organ meats (such as liver, tripe sweetbreads, and brains), and certain seafood and sugary drinks (like beer).

Uric acid forms needle-like crystals that rub against the soft lining of your joints, such as your big toe. This causes a sudden attack of pain, swelling, and stiffness in that joint, usually the big toe but sometimes other joints, especially those near the center of the body like knees, ankles, wrists, or hands. The attack typically lasts a few days and then goes away, but it can return more frequently and last longer.

The gout treatment typically involves prescription medicine. Anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen and naproxen) reduce pain and swelling, while drugs like allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim) and colchicine (Colcrys, Gloperba, Mitigare) lower uric acid levels or prevent your kidneys from excreting uric acid.