Types of Arthritis 2015-09-15T12:41:50-05:00

Types of Arthritis

The most common types of arthritis include:


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis that occurs when cartilage between bones breaks down, causing them to rub together. This leads to pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but it most often occurs in the knees, hips and hands. It can also be called degenerative joint disease. The risk for osteoarthritis increases with age or injury.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) results when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, specifically the membrane that lines joints. This causes fluid to build up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation. It commonly affects the hands, wrists and knees and can eventually damage cartilage and bone.


Fibromyalgia is the second most common musculoskeletal condition. It causes widespread muscle and joint pain, and can lead to fatigue, depression, numbness in the hands and feet, and headaches. Its symptoms can be similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis and tendinitis.


Gout is a form of arthritis that most often affects the large toe, and is characterized by sudden, intense joint pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling. It is the result of too much uric acid in the body’s tissues and fluids. Risk factors include obesity, hypertension, high alcohol consumption and a diet rich in meat and seafood.

For diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, please contact our UAMS Center for Primary Care.