Types of Arthritis

There are currently over one hundred different types of Arthritis identified. The most common types include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout. All of them cause pain in different ways.

  • Osteoarthritis: sometimes called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. It occurs when the cartilage or cushion between joints breaks down leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: the most common type of autoimmune arthritis. It is triggered by a faulty immune system and affects the wrist and small joints of the hand, including the knuckles and the middle joints of the fingers. 
  • Psoriatic arthritis: a chronic form of arthritis. In some people, it is mild, with just occasional flare ups. In other people, it is continuous and can cause joint damage if it is not treated. Early diagnosis is important to avoid damage to joints. Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs in people with skin psoriasis, but it can occur in people without skin psoriasis, particularly in those who have relatives with psoriasis
  • Fibromyalgia: a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
  • Gout: characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness in joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone. Men are more likely to get gout, but women become increasingly susceptible to gout after menopause.

Learn more at the Arthritis Foundation