Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Tests For Arthritis

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Arthritis can be described as a condition in which one, or more, of your joints get inflamed. This will cause you to experience a considerable amount of pain, stiffness and discomfort in your joints and can also keep you from carrying out some of your daily activities.

Arthritis usually affects elderly people and the symptoms worsen with age. There are several different types of arthritis that have been known to affect people and some are more common than the others. This condition can affect any of the joints in your body, especially the fingers, hips, shoulders, knees, toes and ankles. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis, though the pain and discomfort can be controlled to some extent, with the help of the right treatment. If not checked and controlled in time, certain types of arthritis could cause the joints to become twisted and could lead to permanent deformities.

Types of Arthritis

Studies indicate that there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, affecting the people that live across the US. Some of the most common types of arthritis that can be found in people include:

Though it is not very common, children too can suffer from certain types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.


It could be a bit of a challenge to determine the exact cause of this condition. Some of the most common causes of arthritis include:

  • Heredity factors
  • Progressing age
  • Excess weight
  • Previous injuries, illnesses, infections or damage in the joints
  • Occupational hazards (like heavy construction work)
  • Engaging in an excess amount of high-level sports
  • Unhealthy dietary or lifestyle habits (in certain cases)


Most of the symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Given below are some of the most commonly seen signs and symptoms of arthritis:

  • Pain and progressive stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Reduction in the range of motion
  • Tenderness
  • Fever and chills (rare)

Children who are suffering from juvenile arthritis may experience symptoms like:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Presence of a blotchy rash on the legs and the arms

As soon the as the symptoms of arthritis become evident, it is essential to consult a doctor.


Arthritis treatment is aimed at improving the function of your joints and more importantly, reducing the pain, stiffness and discomfort that is caused by the condition. Unfortunately, patients may need to try out a combination of different treatment options, before they can identify the one that is best for them. The medicines that can be prescribed as a part of arthritis treatment include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Biologics
  • Counterirritants
  • Analgesics

In case of certain types of arthritis, physical therapy can be quite helpful too. However, if medication and exercising do not help doctors may recommend surgical procedures such as joint replacement or joint fusion.


In case you have a family history of arthritis, it is best for you to follow certain preventative measures to reduce your risks if developing the condition. Given below are a few tips on arthritis prevention:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Follow a healthy diet, which is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Get an adequate amount of exercise each day, which includes strength training.
  • Protect your joints from abnormal stress by sitting, standing & bending properly.

These arthritis prevention tips do not guarantee that you will not develop the condition; they only reduce your risks of suffering from arthritis.