Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by normal wear and tear, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Other types of arthritis can be caused by uric acid crystals, infections or even an underlying disease — such as psoriasis or lupus.
Treatments vary, depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of the treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may include:
The pain associated with arthritis is caused by joint damage. Joints are made up of the following parts:
Risk factors for arthritis include:
Depending on the type of arthritis suspected, your doctor may suggest some of the following tests.
To obtain a sample of your joint fluid, your doctor will cleanse and numb the area before inserting a needle in your joint space to withdraw some fluid.
These types of tests can detect problems within your joint that may be causing your symptoms. Examples include: