Other Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a health condition where you experience stiffness, inflammation, and discomfort in 1 or more joints.1

The condition affects people of different age groups, including children and teenagers. Certain types of arthritis happen more often in adults.1

What are the different types of arthritis?

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis that can attack your joints. In addition to RA, the most common include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Gout

Osteoarthritis

Millions of people around the globe have osteoarthritis, making it the most common type of arthritis.2

Osteoarthritis gradually wears down cartilage found at the end of your bones. This type of arthritis usually affects joints in the spine, hips, knees, and hands. Factors such as flaws in the bone, older age, obesity, and your genes put you at a greater risk of this type of arthritis.2

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:2

  • Rigid joints
  • Discomfort in affected joints during or after movement
  • Stiffness in joints, especially after a period of sitting still
  • Tenderness in affected joints

Treatments for osteoarthritis include:3

  • Medicine applied to the skin (topicals)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Foods good for your health
  • Controlling cholesterol and diabetes
  • Alternative treatments such as vitamins and supplements

Psoriatic arthritis

If you have psoriasis, you are more likely to develop a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Psoriasis is a disease that causes patchy, scaly areas, usually on your scalp, elbows, and knees. A large number of people get PsA years after developing psoriasis.4,5

When your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, it can cause PsA. The response to this attack is swelling in the joints. Your body also makes too many skin cells.4

Symptoms of PsA include:4

  • Changes in nail appearance
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in your feet, particularly the heel
  • Swelling in toes and fingers

Treatments for PsA include:5

  • NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids (steroids)
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologics
  • Exercise
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Protecting the joints
  • Splinting
  • Surgery

Gout

Gout is a common type of arthritis that triggers strong, abrupt periods of pain, swelling, and tenderness in 1 or more joints. Pain most often occurs inyour big toe but can occur in any joint.6

What makes gout different from the other types of arthritis is that symptoms often appear without warning. Your joint may be so sensitive that anything touching it feels unbearable.6

A pile-up of uric acidcrystals in your joints causes gout. This leads to severe aches and inflammation in the joints. High amounts of uric acid in your blood – made when your body breaks down a substance called purines – create these crystals.6

Symptoms of gout include:6

  • Extreme pain in any joint, but usually the big toe
  • Aches and pain that do not go away
  • Soreness and redness in the affected joint
  • Trouble with joint movement

Treatments for gout include:6

  • NSAIDs
  • Colchicine (anti-inflammatory medicine)
  • Steroids
  • Limiting alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Staying away from foods with high purine levels, such as red meat, liver and other organ meat, and some seafood

Lupus

Lupus is a type of arthritis that happens when your body’s immune system attacks your healthy organs or tissues. The result is inflammation and tissue damage. Sun exposure, infections, and certain medicines (especially blood pressure drugs) usually cause lupus. The discomfort from lupus can affect your lungs, brain, heart, and skin.7

Women, teens to middle-aged adults, Black Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are more likely to develop lupus.7

Symptoms of lupus include:7

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Fever
  • Achy, rigid, swollen joints
  • A rash on your cheeks and top of your nose (butterfly rash)
  • Trouble catching your breath
  • Skin sores that worsen in the sun
  • Changes in the color of your toes and fingers during cold weather

Treatments for lupus include:7

  • NSAIDs
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Steroids
  • Biologics
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Wearing protective clothing and sunscreen while in the sun
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Eating a balanced diet, especially whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
  • Regular exercise

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Written by: Alyson Powell Key | Last reviewed: April 2022