There are many different types of arthritis. A few of the most common types include psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. All types of arthritis are characterized to some degree by pain and inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is normally associated with age. Wear and tear on the joints can result in the degeneration of both bone and connective tissue, leading to chronic pain and inflammation. Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by excessive amounts of uric acid in the blood, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Doctors can perform a few simple tests to identify what type of arthritis a patient has and the best way to treat it.
Different forms of arthritis are characterized by different symptoms, most of which vary in degree of intensity. In both rheumatoid arthritis and gout, one of the main symptoms is red, swollen joints that are hot to the touch. Other types of arthritis are also characterized by different degrees of pain and inflammation. The longer a person suffers from the condition, the worse the symptoms will become. The chronic pain and inflammation can limit a person's range of motion and hinder their mobility. As the condition continues to degrade the joints, bone degeneration can lead to more intense pain and inflammation.
Over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories are often the methods of choice when treating different forms of arthritis. Physical therapy is also important to maintain strength and keep the joints in good working order. Walking, swimming, and massage therapy have also proven to be beneficial when treating arthritis. Making positive lifestyle changes that include stopping the use of cigarettes and alcohol, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet are helpful when it comes to making long-term improvements. Doctors also recommend getting adequate amounts of sleep each night to help the joints and muscles get the rest they need.