Did you know that there are over 100 types of arthritis? The three main types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, but there are different signs, symptoms and treatments for each of them.
More people experience this form of arthritis than any other. It’s the “wear and tear” that happens from overuse of a joint. In most cases this develops with age, but it can also be caused by joint injury or obesity, which puts extra stress on specific joints. Weight bearing joints are the most commonly affected by osteoarthritis, usually over months or years. While it will make the joints hurt it should not cause nausea or fatigue. As you age your body loses its shock absorbing cartilage, which is a slippery material that covers the ends of the bones. It breaks down over time making movement painful and you may hear a grinding noise as the rough edge of the cartilage rubs the surface of the bone. Spurs or bumps may develop on the ends of bones, most commonly on the fingers and feet. The joint lining may become inflamed but this is not overly common with osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
-a deep, aching pain
-trouble with common tasks such as; dressing, combing hair, grip, bending, or climbing stairs
-joint stiffness in the morning, which in most cases does not last longer than an hour
-pain with movement, including walking
-joints feeling warm to the touch
-lack of full range of motion
Rheumatoid arthritis, known as RA, is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a part of the body. This attack leads to inflammation which in turn causes severe joint damage if not properly treated. About 1 in 5 people with rheumatoid arthritis develop lumps on their skin called rheumatoid nodules. Most often they appear over joints that receive the most pressure. Doctors are not sure what causes RA, but some believe that the immune system becomes “confused” after infection from a bacteria or virus and begins to attack the joints. Symptoms may develop gradually or appear suddenly. In most cases RA symptoms are much more severe than osteoarthritis symptoms. The pain and swelling from RA can make things such as opening a jar, driving, walking and other daily activities extremely difficult. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs as well, including the heart, lungs and eyes.
RA usually affects multiple joints and may cause symptoms such as:
-swelling in joints that doesn’t go away
-stiffness in joints, especially in the morning that may last for hours or even most of the day
-loss of appetite causing weight loss in severe cases
-symptoms that tend to be symmetrical, if the knuckles on your right hand are swollen most likely it will be the same on the left side
-joints may feel warm to the touch, inflammation
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition in which people have inflammation of both the skin (psoriasis) and the joints (arthritis). Psoriasis causes raised, red, and white patches of inflamed skin with scales. It most often affects the tips of elbows and knees, the scalp, and navel. Only 10%-30% of people with psoriasis will also develop psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis usually starts between the ages of 30 and 50 but has been seen in cases as early as childhood. It is equally common in men and women and in most cases the skin disease shows up before the joint issues. Some people have only one or a few joints that are affected.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms can include:
-swelling in the fingers and toes
-pitting and discoloration of the fingernails
-redness or pain in the eye
-pain, stiffness and swelling of the infected joint(s) and the surrounding soft tissue
-limited range of motion
With any type of arthritis inflammation may occur. There are some things you can do to naturally relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis at home. One method is to use a non-steroidal topical cream such as Enduras Recovery Cream developed by Epiphany Therapeutics. This cream is specifically designed to help reduce underlying causes of inflammation. Enduras contains only naturally derived essential micronutrients and has none of the harsh and potentially unsafe ingredients of other products. It will also help if you practice the good habits of a diet low in inflammatory ingredients and routine, light exercise.
About the Authors
William Goolsbee has spent his career in Life Sciences including leading roles in drug development in immunology and genetic medicine. Recent senior positions include Chairman of the Board at Sarepta Therapeutics and Founder and CEO at Metrodora Therapeutics.
Dr. Gil Price
Gil Price M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer at the Propharma Group, where he provides medical supervision for all clinical trials. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Drug Safety Solutions, where he oversaw safety monitoring for drugs in clinical development. Dr. Price also served as the Director of Clinical Development at Medimmune Oncology and Director of Medical Affairs at Glaxo.