Arthritis: Many Types Cause Joint Pain

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and they affect approximately 46 million adults in our country. We explain how effective treatment begins with a proper diagnosis.

Most of us think of arthritis as a common condition that stiffens joints and makes movement painful as we age. Many people don’t realize that this condition comes in more than 100 types, each one calling for a different treatment approach. A therapy that works for one type of arthritis may have little effect on the symptoms of another type.

To treat arthritis effectively, an accurate diagnosis is critical. Only when you know what’s causing your pain can you and your doctor take the appropriate steps to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.

  • Osteoarthritis. This is one of the major types of arthritis, and is the result of wear and tear caused by joint overuse, obesity, or aging. Osteoarthritis in the hands is frequently inherited, and is common in middle-aged women.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. The other most common form of arthritis, this condition is an inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when the body’s immune system is not working the way it should.
  • Gout. Caused by urate crystals that collect in a joint, gout causes inflammation and intense pain.
  • Psoriatic arthritis. Approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in and around the joints.
  • Lupus. This chronic autoimmune condition can damage joints, as well as other parts of the body, by causing the body’s immune system to attack healthy cells and tissues.
  • Septic arthritis. A painful joint infection caused when germs from a penetrating injury or another part of the body travel through the bloodstream to infect a joint—most commonly the hip and knee joints.

When you are experiencing joint pain, early consultation with your physician can pinpoint the problem, initiate appropriate treatment, and may prevent complications from developing.

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  • Scott Pepin, M.D.

    “Having my own personal experiences in sustaining injuries and the subsequent recovery process helps provide me insight into my own patients’ conditions and what they are going through. I also understand the importance of and strive to help return my patients back to the activities they want to do, whether that be to walk around the block or return to high-level sports performance.”

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