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Types of Arthritis: Simple Explanations By A Houston Orthopedic Physician

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

With an aging population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the number of adults in the U.S. with arthritis will see a sharp rise from 50 to 67 million over the next 16 years. But what exactly is arthritis? And how do you know if you have it?

In Simple Terms…

Arthritis is joint inflammation, which may cause pain and stiffness, leading to reduced range of motion and worsening of symptoms. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. Below are four common types. See your Houston orthopedic physician for a specific diagnosis if you’re experiencing arthritic symptoms. Or, take this brief online assessment.

Take the Arthritis Assessment

  1. Fibromyalgia. Joint stiffness (especially in the morning) is one of many symptoms sometimes attributed to fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, the cause of fibromyalgia is not understood. (Note: fibromyalgia is not technically a form of arthritis, but is commonly associated with this group of conditions.)
  2. Gout is characterized by excruciating joint pain that may cause “red hot” or pin-and-needle like pain. Gout may be chronic, or it may flare up every few days or weeks. Deposits of urate crystals in the joints cause this pain. Crystals may develop from a diet rich in meat, seafood and alcohol.
  3. Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) is the most common form of arthritis. It primarily occurs in the knees and hips, and is characterized by loss of cartilage in the joints. As the joints’ natural cushioning wears away, bones may rub together, causing pain.
  4. Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is an inflammatory disease that can occur at any age, causing fatigue, stiffness in five or more joints and other non-specific symptoms.

Arthritis Symptoms? See Your Houston Orthopedic Doctor

Remember, approximately 50 million adults in the U.S. have clinically diagnosed arthritis. Two out of three of those adults are under the age of 65. Don’t assume that you can’t have arthritis because of your age.

If you’re suffering from symptoms of arthritis, you may wish to schedule an appointment with a Houston orthopedic physician. Give us a call at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics – (713) 756-5546 – or schedule your appointment online.

Take the Arthritis Questionnaire

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.