Though, the exact number of types of arthritis is still not very clear but still more than 100 types of arthritis have been identified. A question always arise in people's mind that 'how many types of arthritis are there?' Among the identified types of arthritis, the most common types of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage that covers the end of the bones gradually wears away. Once the cartilage is removesd, the bones at the joints starts rubbing continuously against each other that results in severe pain and swelling due to friction. Though, Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint of the muscle but the most commonly affected parts are the hands and weight-bearing joints like knee, hip and facet joints (in the spine). Osteoarthritis often occurs as a result of breakdown of cartilage or degeneration of cartilage with ageing. This is the reason; osteoarthritis is often referred as degenerative joint disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting joint pain condition that can affect the joints of any part of the body except the lower half. The most frequently affected parts of the body due to Rheumatoid arthritis include hands, wrists, and knees. In a Rheumatoid arthritis condition the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks itself resulting in the swelling of joint linings. The swelling further encompasses the surrounding tissues, which finally results in damage of cartilage and bone. In extreme cases, rheumatoid arthritis can affect other areas of the body including the skin, eyes, lungs, and nerves.
Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis that arises when the body becomes unable to eliminate a chemical substance called uric acid. The accumulation of excessive uric acid leads to the formation of needle-like crystals in the joints that results in excessive swelling and severe pain. The most common gout affected are big toe, knee, and wrist joints.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. In this case the bones of the spine grow together as a result of inflammation.
Juvenile arthritis is a generic term commonly used for all types of arthritis occurring in children. Children may develop may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or early forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or any other types of arthritis.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus):
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an extremely dangerous form of arthritis that can lead to inflammation and damage of joints and connective tissues through the entire body.
Scleroderma is a type of arthritis in which of connective tissue of the body damages resulting in a thickening and hardening of the skin.
Fibromyalgia is an arthritic condition in which widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women.