The Different Types of Arthritis
By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
March 18, 2021
Category: Arthritis
Tags: Arthritis  

The professionals at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine help patients manage their arthritis and pain. With locations in St. Thomas and St. Croix, we are here for you if you're in pain.

Arthritis plagues more than 54 million Americans and that number is growing as the population ages, according to the CDC. The common traits of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, either in one joint or many. The different kinds of arthritis can have other varied symptoms. Come see us in St. Thomas or St. Croix for help managing arthritis and pain.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It causes the cartilage within a joint to break down. This usually happens gradually and over time symptoms worsen. OA is most common in the hands, knees, and hips. It causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and over time will cause a loss of flexibility or limited range of motion.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body attacks its own healthy cells. The lining of the joint becomes inflamed and causes damage to the joint tissue, which means chronic pain. RA usually attacks many joints at once, including the hands, wrists, and knees, and can lead to deformity of the joints.

The cause of fibromyalgia isn't completely known, but if you have RA, you are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain throughout the body, and often causes problems with sleep, leading to depression and anxiety.

Gout commonly affects one joint at a time. Gout causes inflammation and goes through remissions and flares. Repeated flare-ups lead to gouty arthritis. There is no cure for gout but flare-ups can be managed with healthy diet choices and medication.

Arthritis can be painful but it doesn't have to control your life. To manage your pain, contact Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Saint Thomas at (340) 714-2845, and in St. Croix at (340) 692-5000.