Arthritis is a very common disorder causing inflammation of one or more joints. An arthritis patient typically shows symptoms including stiffness, swelling, redness, joint pain, and decreased range of motion.

This chronic disease can have gradual or sudden onset. More than 100 different types of arthritis exist. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, gout and septic arthritis are the most common types of arthritis.

Let’s now know about the different types of arthritis.

1. Adult-Onset Still’s Disease

A type of rare autoinflammatory arthritis, Adult-Onset Still’s Disease (AOSD) is caused at the onset of adulthood. This systemic disease may initially affect few joints and then include more joints and other organs as it advances. Persistent spiking high fevers, joint pain and salmon-pink bumpy rash are its basic symptoms.

2. Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis affecting the patient’s spine or back. An inflammatory arthritis, it causes inflammation of joints and ligaments. As it’s a systemic disease, it may affect organs. The pain and stiffness generally starts in lower back and may advance to upper spine, neck and chest. Over a time-span, joints and bones may fuse and cause the spine to become rigid and inflexible.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, is a most common chronic condition of joints. The breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone takes place in this condition and this leads to pain, stiffness and swelling.

4. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a type of chronic autoimmune disease affecting especially the joints. The body’s immune system attacks the joints in this condition. The individual suffering from this condition has warm, swollen and painful joints.

5. Gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in individuals having high levels of uric acid in their blood. In about 50% cases, the joint at the base of big toe gets affected.

6. Infectious Arthritis (Septic Arthritis or Joint Infection)

Also called Septic arthritis, infectious arthritis is a joint infection caused when an infectious penetrates an individual’s joint. It most commonly causes pain, swelling and warmth at the affected joint.

7. Inflammatory Bowel disease (Enteropathic Arthritis)

Also known as enteropathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes chronic inflammation of some part of digestive tract and is sometimes associated with inflammatory arthritis. It includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

8. Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis (JA) or childhood arthritis is an umbrella term for chronic arthritis that affects individuals below the age of 16. It is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease leading to pain, joint swelling, redness, and warmth.

Here are types of juvenile arthritis:

  • Kawasaki Disease: It causes blood vessel inflammation leading to heart complications.

  • Fibromyalgia: This chronic pain syndrome is an arthritis-related condition that causes stiffness and ache besides fatigue, disrupted sleep and other symptoms.

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): A very common form of arthritis, JIA includes subtypes: oligoarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, polyarthritis, juvenile psoriatic arthritis, and undifferentiated.

  • Juvenile Lupus: An autoimmune disease, lupus affects joints, blood, skin, kidneys, and other body parts. Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is the most common type of lupus.

  • Juvenile Scleroderma: Scleroderma means “hard skin” and it causes hardening and tightening of skin in the joints, muscles and bones.

  • Juvenile dermatomyositis: this inflammatory disease causes muscle weakness and skin rash on eyelids and knuckles.

  • Mixed connective tissue disease: This disease includes features of arthritis, scleroderma and lupus dermatomyositis. It is associated with very high levels of a specific antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP.

9. Lupus

Lupus arthritis usually doesn’t cause severe destruction of joints. Less than 10% people with this condition are likely to develop deformities of hands and feet. A chronic autoimmune disease, it affects brain, kidneys, blood, skin and other organs other than joints.

10. Psoriatic Arthritis

People diagnosed with the condition of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) have inflammation of skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis). About 30% people with psoriasis develop this type of arthritis. Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis, symmetric psoriatic arthritis, distal psoriatic arthritis, arthritis mutilans and spondylitis are the 5 types of psoriatic arthritis.

11. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria carried by black-legged deer ticks. If it gets detected in an early stage, it can be easily treated with antibiotics. And if it is left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, making it a complex debilitating disorder harder to treat.

12. Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac ‘bursa’ acting as a cushion between a bone and muscle, skin or tendon. The bursitis type depends where the affected bursa is located. This condition usually affects the shoulder, elbow, hip, buttocks, knees and calf.

13. Reactive Arthritis (Reiter’s Syndrome)

Also known as Reiter's syndrome, reactive arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that gets developed in response to an infection in some other part of the body (cross-reactivity). The disease can be triggered by coming in contact with bacteria and developing an infection.

14. Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)

Also known as Erythema infectiosum, the Fifth disease is a mild viral illness commonly affecting children. It is named so because it is the fifth of the five viral rash diseases of childhood (measles, rubella, chicken pox and roseola are the other four). A child affected with it may have mild cold or flu-like symptoms along with a red rash on the cheeks, torso and limbs few days later. Some children with the disease may also develop joint pain and swelling.

15. Paget’s Disease

Paget's disease is a disease of the bone that happens when a person’s bones become too large and weak. This might occur due to an error in the normal process of bone breakdown and rebuilding. This condition may affect any bone in the body, but it more often affects the bones of the pelvis and legs. It may also affect the skull, lower spine and sacrum (or the tailbone).