What are the most common types of Arthritis?

The most common form of arthritis in Nigeria is osteoarthritis. Other common types of arthritis include;

  • Rheumatoid arthritis,
  • psoriatic arthritis,
  • gout, and
  • fibromyalgia.

A. What is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis.

Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis.

It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees.

These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time.

In some cases it also causes reduced function and disability; some people are no longer able to do daily tasks or work.

B. Inflammatory Arthritis

A healthy immune system is protective. It generates internal inflammation to get rid of infection and prevent disease.

But the immune system can go awry, mistakenly attacking the joints with uncontrolled inflammation, potentially causing joint erosion and may damage internal organs, eyes and other parts of the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are examples of inflammatory arthritis.

Researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can trigger autoimmunity.

Smoking is an example of an environmental risk factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in people with certain genes.

1. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic systemic disease that affects the joints, connective tissues, muscle, tendons, and fibrous tissue.

It tends to strike during the most productive years of adulthood, between the ages of 20 and 40, and is a chronic disabling condition often causing pain and deformity.

This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity.

RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes.

2. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis can occur in people who have psoriasis (scaly red and white skin patches). It affects the joints and areas where tissues attach to bone.

The joints most often affected are:

📝The outer joints of the fingers or toes.
📝Wrists.
📝Knees.
📝Ankles.
📝Lower back.

C. Infectious Arthritis

A bacterium, virus or fungus can enter the joint and trigger inflammation. Examples of organisms that can infect joints are salmonella and shigella (food poisoning or contamination), chlamydia and gonorrhea (sexually transmitted diseases) and hepatitis C (a blood-to-blood infection, often through shared needles or transfusions).

In many cases, timely treatment with antibiotics may clear the joint infection, but sometimes the arthritis becomes chronic.

D. Gout

Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful.

Some people call it metabolic arthritis

It usually affects one joint at a time (often the big toe joint).

There are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when there are no symptoms, known as remission.

Repeated bouts of gout can lead to gouty arthritis, a worsening form of arthritis.

E. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress.

People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia.

This is called abnormal pain perception processing.

The cause of fibromyalgia is not known.

References

  • CDC
  • NIAMS
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • WHO

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