We tend to accept some amount of aches and pains after age 60 or so. But at what point should you be concerned about arthritis? And what can you do about it?
It might surprise you to learn that there are over 100 different types of arthritis. However, most fall into one of the following five categories:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form, and you could think of it as “wear and tear” on your joints. It’s common with age,because the cartilage in joints simply become damaged over time, but injury and obesity can also over-stress joints. With osteoarthritis, you will experience joint pain and stiffness, but it is not an overall systemic disorder like the other forms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus are autoimmune diseases. You will experience pain in the joints, along with other symptoms related to your immune dysfunction. With psoriatic arthritis in particular, a skin disorder (psoriasis) will be quite noticeable.
Gout isn’t commonly viewed as a form of arthritis, but technically it is. A buildup of uric acid can cause stiffness, pain, redness, and difficulty moving the affected joint. Often gout strikes the big toe or another part of the foot. Several different underlying causes can trigger a buildup of uric acid in the body, such as dietary choices or a kidney problem.
As you can see, the types of arthritis can vary greatly, and they can be caused by different malfunctions in the body. The bottom line is that if you experience joint pain or swelling, don’t write it off as just “aches and pains”. See your physician, so that they can rule out other problems in your body that might be triggering a form of arthritis.