The term arthritis covers many different conditions (over 100 of them), which can fall into two categories: osteoarthritis (OA) and inflammatory arthritis (IA). Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage between bones wears down, causing bones to become less protected. This type of arthritis is usually caused by wear and tear, sports injuries, falls, or trauma.
Inflammatory arthritis, in contrast, occurs when joint inflammation is caused by the immune system, rather than the mechanical wearing down of the cartilage and the joint. Common types of Inflammatory arthritis include Rheumatoid arthritis – A disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its own tissues, including membranes that are found in the joints. Most common causing inflammation, pain, stiffness, and disfigurement of the fingers, hands, wrists, and knees.
Gout – Is a condition where extra uric acid (a bodily waste product) turns into hard crystals that accumulate in the joints causing pain and inflammation (usually in the joint of the big toe). But can also be seen in other joints including the ankle, foot, and even into the hands.