Types of Arthritis
Inflammatory ArthritisInflammatory types of arthritis include a wide range of rheumatic diseases. Some common types of inflammatory arthritides (plural for arthritis) include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Lupus arthritis
- Spondyloarthropathies, including:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. In a person with rheumatoid arthritis, the body attacks the lining of a joint just as it would if it were trying to protect the person from injury or disease. For example, if you had a splinter in your finger, the finger would become inflamed -- painful, red, and swollen.
Rheumatoid arthritis leads to inflammation in your joints. This inflammation causes pain, swelling, and stiffness that can last for hours (see Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms). This often happens in many different joints at the same time. You might not even be able to move the joint. People with rheumatoid arthritis often don't feel well. They may be tired or run a fever. People of any age can develop rheumatoid arthritis, and it is more common in women.
Rheumatoid arthritis can attack almost any joint in the body, including the joints in the fingers, wrists, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and neck. If you have rheumatoid arthritis in a joint on one side of the body, the same joint on the other side of your body will probably have rheumatoid arthritis as well. Rheumatoid arthritis not only destroys joints. It can also attack organs such as the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and eyes.
Medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes are among the treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (see Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment).