If you are suffering from achiness and stiffness in your joints, you might have arthritis, one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States. Arthritis causes swelling in your joints that can lead to restricted motion and debilitating pain that limits mobility and activity.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), a condition in which your joint cartilage breaks down. It is often the result of aging or injury. While OA is typically found in your knees, hips and spine, it can affect any joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another common type of arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system starts attacking healthy cells in your body. RA often affects hands, wrists, feet and knees, but like OA it also can affect any joint. It can also damage organs, including the heart and lungs.
When you are suffering from arthritis that is affecting more than one joint, you have a form of polyarthritis. RA is a common type of polyarthritis, but it can also be caused by lupus, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis and more.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
Regardless of the type of arthritis you may be suffering from, debilitating joint pain and joint stiffness are common symptoms.
Additional symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Joint tenderness
- Reduced range of motion
- A grating feeling when you move the affected joint
- Bone spurs
Additional symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Joints that feel warm to the touch
There is not yet a cure for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, so traditional management of both conditions involves relieving symptoms through medication, physical therapy and surgery.
Please visit the condition pages for more information on the traditional management of these conditions: