Arthritis refers to around 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Arthritis” literally means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee.
There are different types of arthritis. In some diseases in which arthritis occurs, other organs, such as your eyes, heart, or skin, can also be affected.
Fortunately, current treatments allow most people with arthritis to lead active and productive lives.
There are several types of arthritis. Common ones include:
If you think you may have arthritis, see your healthcare provider. The provider will ask about your symptoms and learn how joint pain affects your life. Your provider will perform a physical exam, which may include:
Different types of arthritis have different causes. For instance, gout is the result of too much uric acid in your body. But for other types of arthritis, the exact cause is unknown. You may develop arthritis if you:
Some factors make you more likely to develop arthritis, including:
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. They can be mild in some people and severe in others. Joint discomfort might come and go, or it could stay constant. Common symptoms include:
There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.
Conservative (nonsurgical) treatments include:
Healthcare providers usually only recommend surgery for certain severe cases of arthritis. These are cases that haven’t improved with conservative treatments. Surgical options include: