In rheumatology, scientists and doctors work hard to develop new treatments, new facts and even to learn why people suffer from conditions such as arthritis. One thing that they’ve uncovered is that there are a host of different types of arthritis today. If you are suffering from arthritis, chances are you have a specific condition that leads to the type of arthritis that you have. In rheumatology, doctors are working to help cure all forms, but it is important for you, as a patient, to be able to understand what makes your type of arthritis unique in comparison to the others out there.

The most common type of arthritis is that of osteoarthritis. Others include psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Reiter’s Syndrome, Gout and Pseudogout. To understand the differences, consider this information about each of these conditions.

  • Psoriatic arthritis: If you have psoriasis, then you are more prone to developing this form of arthritis, which is a condition that includes many of the same symptoms of other types. Some that experience this form of arthritis will have more spinal injury than other forms of arthritis. Ultimately, though, this type of arthritis is less troublesome to the patient and less debilitating to them.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: The one key element that distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis to other forms of arthritis is that usually, joints from both sides of the body are attacked and are facing pain. Swelling, pain, redness and warmth are symptoms.
  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form and it is distinguished by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Any joint in your body can be affected by this condition, but the common areas including your hips, knees and spine.
  • Reiter’s Syndrome: Those that have this type of arthritis have a unique condition in which not only can the joints in the body be attacked, but so can other parts of the body including the eyes, the skin and the urethra.
  • Pseudogout: The most common places to see this type of condition is that of the knee or the wrist, but it can also attack the hips, shoulders, knuckles, and joints in your feet. What makes it unique is that it will attack just one joint at a time, mostly. The problem here is an abnormal calcium pyrophosphate development.
  • Gout: While you may not realize it, gout is a form of arthritis. In this form, you will have severe and often sudden attacks of pain in some of your joints. Only one joint is affected at a time, usually, but the symptoms can come and go.

Each of these conditions are something that rheumatology wants to know more about. Understanding what is happening and why it is happening is essential to getting the patient the help they need. Since arthritis does effect millions of people every year and it is a debilitating condition, it is essential for doctors and scientists to work to develop alternative treatments and cures for these conditions. Each form of arthritis is unique, making their job that much more difficult.

By: Greg Marsh

For important information from Greg about rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, click the link.

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21 Jun 2007