types of arthritis in the knee pain

3 Major Types of Arthritis Explained: Causes & Symptoms

Arthritis is one of the most common diseases in America, and 24% of all adults (58.5 million people!) have some type of arthritis. Over a quarter of arthritis patients report having severe joint pain, and 1 in 10 adults have limited mobility due to arthritis.

This article will introduce you to three of the most common types of arthritis, their causes, symptoms, and home treatments you can use as intervention methods. As always, seek medical advice from a professional, especially if you haven’t received an official diagnosis.

Arthritis is a chronic condition that often lasts a lifetime. Therefore, knowing what type of arthritis you have and learning to manage the symptoms is critical to your quality of life in the future.

Read More: Arthritis Patient Resource Center

Osteoarthritis cause and symptoms
Image Credit: Healthline


The three major types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Psoriatic Arthritis. Among the three, osteoarthritis is the most common type in the hands, knees, and hips. However, It could also happen in other joints. For example, OA patients’ cartilage within the affected joint begins to break down, causing the underlying bone to change.

What Causes Osteoarthritis

Although many call osteoarthritis “wear-and-tear arthritis,” it does not result from normal joint use. Instead, osteoarthritis often develops over time as changes in the cartilage tissue cumulate, eventually triggering a tissue breakdown.

The most common causes of osteoarthritis are joint injuries and overuse. Vitamin D deficiency and obesity are other common causes of the disease. Older individuals, especially those over 50, are most likely to develop osteoarthritis. According to the Mayo Clinic, osteoarthritis is more prevalent in women than men, although the reason remains unclear.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Stiff join
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Grating sensation
  • Bone spurs
  • Swelling

Since osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that aggravates over time, it may also cause depression, sleep disturbance, and severe insomnia in some patients.

Read More: Arthritis and Mental Health

finger deformation caused by RA mayo clinic
Image Credit: Mayo Clinic

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. RA mainly affects multiple joints simultaneously and is most commonly found in the hands, wrists, and knees. The affected joints’ lining becomes inflamed, leading to tissue damage, which can trigger pain, loss of balance, and deformity.

RA can also damage critical organs, including the lungs, eyes, and heart, resulting in physical disabilities and life-threatening situations in extreme cases. Like other arthritis forms, rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong condition that requires careful management and professional treatment.

Unfortunately, there is no clear study on what causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Common Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis has common symptoms, such as stiff and painful joints, tenderness, and swelling in the affected joints, often present on both sides of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, weakness, fever, and loss of appetite.

Meanwhile, rheumatoid arthritis also triggers other complications due to the malfunctioning immune system, including lung and heart diseases, dry eyes and mouth, lymphoma, abnormal body composition, and carpal tunnel syndrome. RA patients are also more vulnerable to viruses and infections.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Psoriatic arthritis is common to those with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease that causes red rashes topped with a silvery scale texture. Some may not experience any PsA symptoms years after being diagnosed with psoriasis. Meanwhile, others had reported joint pain immediately at the same time when they developed skin patches.

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis

Like RA, psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease. Therefore, there is yet an exact diagnosis of its cause other than it develops with psoriasis. 

Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are joint pain and stiffness in the affected area, including fingertips, elbows, and the spine. However, you may also experience

  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Lower back pain
  • Foot pain, especially in the heel or the sole of your foot
  • Brittle nails, dents on the nail surface, or separation of nails from the beds
  • Eye inflammation, red eyes, or blurry vision

Home Remedies

There are no proven methods to cure arthritis completely. Therefore, arthritis patients rely heavily on symptom management and lifestyle adjustments. Luckily, you can try a few home remedies to manage arthritis flare-ups.

One of the most effective solutions is Epsom salt baths. But don’t use more than 3 cups of salt in one regular bathtub, and keep your soak under 30 minutes.

Other home remedies include hot or cold compression, topical pain relief creams and ointments, and herbal remedies. Depending on the severity, your doctor may recommend supportive devices as well.

Read More: Home Remedies for Arthritis Pain Relief

nuwell all natural pain relief cream for Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis topical use
Image Credit: The Nuwell Company

Using Nuwell’s All Natural Pain Relief Cream for Arthritis

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Based on clinical data, our pain relief cream has proven results against osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. It is also the best solution available thus far, with a 59% pain reduction rate.

Finally, the Nuwell All Natural Pain Relief Cream uses ethically sourced ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about side effects or risks of addiction.

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