Skip Navigation Bar
NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Forms of Arthritis

Linda Saisselin

Today, Linda Saisselin takes
joy in holding her new
grandson—pain free.
Photo courtesy of Linda

Osteoarthritis (OA) — the form of arthritis typically occurring during middle or old age, this is a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage, the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. In OA, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away. This allows bones under the cartilage to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling and loss of motion of the joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) — a usually chronic disease that is considered an autoimmune disease—caused by a person's immune system attacking his or her own body tissues. It causes pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling and, sometimes, destruction of joints.

Gout — a form of arthritis that occurs when uric acid, a bodily waste product, deposits as sharp crystals in the joints. Some 2.1 million Americans have gout.

Lupus — a form of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joint tissue. In lupus, the attack may also affect the skin, blood, nervous system and internal organs. Lupus affects 9 to 10 times as many women as men. It typically begins during the early-adult years.

Juvenile arthritis — arthritis that is diagnosed before age 16. The most common form of juvenile arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, affects between 30,000 and 50,000 children nationwide.

Read More "Easing Arthritis" Articles

Easing Arthritis / Forms of Arthritis / What you can do for OA

Fall 2006 Issue: Volume 1 Number 1 Page 16