What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints or tissues around the joint. There are more than 100 types of arthritis including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Childhood Arthritis
Most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joint or joints. Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can also affect the immune system and some internal organs of the body.
What are the most common types of arthritis?
The most common form of arthritis in the United States is osteoarthritis. Other common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is included in the category of arthritis for public health purposes.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Different types of arthritis have different symptoms. Pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints are common symptoms for most types of arthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis, symptoms can develop suddenly or gradually over time. Symptoms may come and go or continue over time.
What causes arthritis?
Experts don’t know the causes of many forms of arthritis. However, we do know that gout is caused by too much uric acid in the body. Sometimes specific infections can also cause arthritis.
Scientists are studying the role of factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and the environment in different types of arthritis to learn more possible causes and risk factors.
Am I at risk for arthritis?
Certain factors make it more likely that you will develop arthritis. You can control some risk factors, and others you cannot. By changing the risk factors you can control, you can decrease your risk of getting arthritis or making arthritis worse.
How many adults in the United States have arthritis?
An estimated 54.4 million US adults have arthritis. Experts believe that number will grow as our nation’s population gets older.
Can children get arthritis?
Yes, children can get arthritis. The most common type of arthritis found in children is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and symptoms of childhood arthritis may include:
- Joint pain
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Loss of appetite
- Inflammation of the eye
- Difficulty with daily living activities such as walking, dressing, and playing
Childhood arthritis causes permanent damage to the affected joint or joints. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important to prevent or minimize permanent damage. There is no cure for childhood arthritis, but some children with childhood arthritis achieve permanent remission, which means the disease is no longer active.
Can I prevent arthritis?
You can reduce your risk of getting some types of arthritis by changing risk factors you can control. Risk factors you can control include obesity, joint injuries, and smoking.
How is arthritis diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose arthritis using the patient’s medical history, physical examination, X-rays, and blood tests.
How can I get tested?
You can order your own blood tests right now, without consulting a health care provider. We offer two types of arthritis tests, an Arthritis Profile and a Rheumatoid Arthritis Test. Simply choose the test of your choice, pay for it and our board-certified physician will authorize you to have the test performed. After you order the test, you will receive a laboratory requisition in your email that you can bring with you to more than 50 convenient Health Network Laboratory locations where we will draw your blood for testing.
When your results are ready, we will let you know. Your test results are secure, confidential and available to only you. You can choose if you want to share your results with anyone else, including your doctor. Please note, we do not accept insurance at this time.
Information provided by the CDC.