If you are an adult human living on Earth, chances are very high that you have heard about arthritis. You know it is a condition in which joints swell up painfully and become inflamed, making it difficult to do everyday things like open jars or even walk. You surely have heard someone say “My mom has arthritis, so she is not enjoying this chilly weather!” But did you know the word “arthritis” is just a general term?
Although most people just say “arthritis,” there are actually many different forms of the arthritis condition – 100 different forms, to be exact. Over 50 million adults in the United States (and hundreds of thousands of children as well) suffer from some form of arthritis.
Let’s take a look at a few of the different types.
Different Types of Arthritis
This is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage in the joints, causing them to break down. This means the bones begin to rub against each other without much cushion in between, which can be extremely painful. This type of arthritis can be caused by a variety of factors, such as family history, obesity, and repetitive use/overuse of the joints.
This one is a mouthful! This type of arthritis might not seem like your typical arthritis. In the case of Spondylarthropathies (a group of various conditions that cause arthritis symptoms), the swelling and pain in joints is caused by an autoimmune disorder that attacks tendons in the body in the places where they attach to bones. Pain from this type of arthritis is mostly felt in the back and along the spine and can lead to a lot of stiffness and pain.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is most common in women and is caused by the body attacking normal, healthy tissues in the joints. This type of arthritis can be very severe, and can even affect bodily organs like the lungs, eyes, skin, or heart.
Many people might have heard of gout, but they didn’t realize it was a form of arthritis. Gout occurs when urate crystals build up inside of your joints, making them swell painfully. High levels of uric acid in the blood are the contributing factor to this condition, which usually affects the feet, specifically the big toe. Gout can be very painful but can be prevented by avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol and maintaining a healthy diet.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Arthritis Home Care Services
If you or your senior care aide suspect your senior loved one might have arthritis, it is important to find out which type they have. The treatment for each type may differ, and you can’t effectively treat something unless you know exactly what you are dealing with. Speak to your senior loved one’s doctor to get a thorough diagnosis – he or she will also have many tips and recommendations for how best to manage arthritis pain.