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Three Types of Arthritis That May Affect You

Joint pain isn’t a normal part of aging, and it’s certainly not something you should assume is untreatable. In fact, the vast majority of people with joint pain experience it because they have one type of arthritis or another. 

At Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists, our team of orthopedic doctors are experts at diagnosing and treating arthritis. From our offices in Manassas and Haymarket, Virginia, Megan Friend, MD, Christopher Highfill, MD, W. Bartley Hosick, MD, John Kim, MD, and Kevin Peltier, MD can help you find relief from your joint pain.

That starts with identifying the type of arthritis that affects you. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and our team is experienced in diagnosing the cause of joint pain.

To get started, let’s look at three of the most common types of arthritis and how they can affect you. 

1. Osteoarthritis

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis develops as a result of wear and tear on your joints. Over time, the cartilage that cushions your joint can wear away, causing joint discomfort. This form of arthritis affects more than 32 million American adults. 

Osteoarthritis causes joint pain and stiffness. You might have swelling in your joints, or you may lose some of your mobility. 

With medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, many people with osteoarthritis are able to control their joint discomfort. 

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

When you have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. Because of this improper immune response, your joints become inflamed and you’re left with joint discomfort.

Rheumatoid arthritis often affects many joints at once. You might experience flares, or times when your symptoms are worse, as well as periods of remission. 

Common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include:

You can usually treat rheumatoid arthritis with anti-inflammatory medication and lifestyle changes, including regular physical activity and joint-protection strategies. 

3. Psoriatic arthritis

Like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. As its name suggests, this condition affects people with psoriasis. Nearly a third of people with psoriasis experience this type of arthritis. 

In addition to pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected joints, psoriatic arthritis can cause:

It’s helpful to know that the severity of your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis don’t necessarily go hand in hand. You might have minimal skin symptoms but noticeable joint discomfort, or vice versa. 

If you’re living with joint pain, don’t wait to figure out if you’re dealing with arthritis, and if so, which type. Call one of our offices in Manassas or Haymarket, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online to get started with one of our arthritis specialists.

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