Skip to main content.

5 Common Types of Arthritis

Posted June 17, 2019 by Vivek Bhalla, MD

Arthritis Blog

Commonly associated with older age, arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans, including more than 300,000 children each year. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Depending on the type, it can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities or go relatively unnoticed and be easily managed for years.

Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. Most individuals experience common symptoms like joint pain, swelling, stiffness and/or decreased range of motion.

Here are 5 of the most common types of arthritis:

  1. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is usually caused by the overuse of joints, weather through physical activity, obesity or injuries - both past and present. This condition usually affects the weight-bearing joints, like knees, hips, feet and the spine and usually comes on gradually.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis can be one of the most painful types of arthritis; it affects joints as well as other surrounding tissues, including organs. This inflammatory, autoimmune disease attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing painful swelling in the joints, like hands, wrists and knees. This tissue damage can cause chronic, long-lasting pain, loss of balance or physical changes and affect surrounding tissues, like the lungs, heart or eyes.
  3. Fibromyalgia affects more than 3.7 million Americans, but the vast majority are women, ages 40 - 75. This condition causes widespread, sometimes chronic, pain, insomnia and fatigue. Individuals may also be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia.
  4. Gout is an extremely painful type of arthritis caused by a buildup, overflow and/or inability to process uric acid. Symptoms come on quickly and acutely, usually starting on your big toe. These “attacks'' can last from 3 - 10 days but can occur months or even years apart. Left unmanaged, episodes of gout can become more severe, occur more frequently and damage your joints and kidneys.
  5. Lupus is another autoimmune, inflammatory arthritic condition. This form of arthritis can last for a long time and is also triggered when the body’s immune system begins to attack healthy, normal tissue. This inflammation and swelling can lead to damaged joints, kidneys, and even blood.

People of all ages can have arthritis, and it’s the leading cause of disability in the US. While there is not a cure for most of these autoimmune conditions, proper pain management and healthy lifestyle changes can significantly improve life with this joint condition.

If you think you may have arthritis, Summa Health Orthopedic Institute offers same day, next day appointments to help you get on the road to recovery faster. Our orthopedic specialists treat all conditions for bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Summa's orthopedic specialists provide a variety of treatment options, including the latest nonsurgical and surgical approaches. Summa Health Orthopedic Institute has multiple facilities throughout Northeast Ohio, serving patients with locations in cities such as Akron, Barberton, Hudson, Uniontown, Medina and Wadsworth, based in Medina, Stark and Summit counties. To get started, select a location nearest you or call 330.838.5533 today for assistance.

Vivek Bhalla MD

Vivek Bhalla MD


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.