Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet. Following is information on the most common forms of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. It affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. Although often described as ‘wear and tear’, this is not an accurate description of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is now thought to be the result of a joint working extra hard to repair itself. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Osteoarthritis

Download our Osteoarthritis Booklet

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common inflammatory form of arthritis, is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling of the joints. In an autoimmune disease, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissues. In RA, the immune system targets the lining of the joints, causing inflammation and joint damage. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Rheumatoid Arthritis

Download our Rheumatoid Arthritis Booklet

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a condition that mainly affects the spine. The joints of the neck, back and pelvis become inflamed, causing pain and stiffness. Other joints, such as the hips and shoulders, and other areas of the body such as the eyes, skin, bowel and lungs, can also be involved. Symptoms of AS usually begin between the ages of 15 and 45 years. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Ankylosing Spondylitis

Download our Ankylosing Spondylitis Booklet

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. This causes the joints to become painful, stiff and often swollen. Usually only people who have a skin disease called psoriasis are affected by psoriatic arthritis. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Psoriatic Arthritis

Download our Psoriatic Arthritis booklet

Gout

Gout is a common and painful condition that affects the joints. Small crystals form in and around the joint, causing inflammation, pain and swelling. An attack of gout usually comes on very quickly, often overnight. The joint becomes very red, swollen and extremely painful. Gout normally affects one joint at a time, often the joint of the big toe. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Gout

Download our Gout Booklet

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (children)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the name given to a number of types of arthritis that occur in children. We do know that JIA is an autoimmune condition. This means the body’s immune system (its protective mechanism against infection) starts to mistakenly attack healthy cells of the body. READ MORE

Download the information sheet Juvenile arthritis

Download our booklet Finding out your child has arthritis

Other forms of arthritis (A-Z)

Anterior knee pain (children)

Anterior knee pain is pain which occurs in the front of the knee around the knee cap. Anterior knee pain is more common during the teenage years and affects girls more than boys.

For more information, download the information sheet Anterior Knee Pain

Chilblains / Perniosis (children)

Chilblains are an injury to the skin of the hands and feet (although they can occur elsewhere like nose, ears, buttocks) caused by cold temperatures. The other name for chilblains is perniosis.

For more information, download the information sheet Skin – Chilblains

Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (children)

Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) is a disease affecting the bones. Inflammation is normally one of the body’s protective responses to infection or injury, but in diseases such as CRMO, uncontrolled inflammation can cause damage. In CRMO, inflammation targets the bone and can occur throughout the body.

For more information, download the information sheet Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO)

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a name given to a common group of symptoms marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness, as well as extreme fatigue.These may range from very mild to severe, and may last for many years or come and go at different times. With the right advice most people find they learn to manage the pain and tiredness over time.

For more information, download the information sheet Fibromyalgia

Familial Mediterranean fever (children)

Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is a disease that results in episodes of fever, abdominal pain, chest pain, joint pain and rashes. It is most common in people of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ancestry, but can occur in people of any ethnicity.

For more information, download the information sheet Familial Mediterranean Fever

Growing pains / Benign nocturnal limb pains (children)

Growing pains are common and affect otherwise healthy children. The pains usually start in the preschool years. Growing pains are often difficult to pinpoint, but are usually in the legs.

For more information, download the information sheet Growing Pains

Haemochromatosis and haemochromatotic arthritis

Haemochromatosis is a condition caused by a build-up of iron in your body. People with haemochromatosis absorb too much iron from food (iron overload) and the extra iron can damage organs, particularly the liver, heart, pancreas, bones and joints.

For more information, download the information sheet Haemochromatosis

Hypermobility syndromes (children)

We are at our most flexible as babies and become less flexible with age. Many children are hypermobile (“double jointed”) in one or more joints. When this affects many joints, and is associated with pain, it is called a hypermobility syndrome.

For more information, download the information sheet Hypermobility Syndromes

Juvenile dermatomyositis (children)

Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the skin and muscle. Inflammation is one of the body’s protective responses to infection or injury, but in diseases such as JDM, uncontrolled inflammation can cause damage. Other parts of the body may also be affected such as the lung and intestines.

For more information, download the information sheet Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)

Localised scleroderma (children)

Localised scleroderma is an inflammatory disease affecting the skin. Inflammation is normally one of the body’s protective responses to infection or injury. In diseases such as localised scleroderma, uncontrolled inflammation leads to hardening and discolouration of the involved skin.

For more information, download the information sheet Skin – Localised Scleroderma

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or lupus) is an autoimmune condition. The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections and diseases to keep you healthy. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissues.

For more information, download the information sheet Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Polymyalgia rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica means ‘pain in many muscles’. It is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints and tissues around the joints. This causes muscles to feel painful and stiff, especially in the shoulder, neck and hip areas. Polymyalgia rheumatica is different to fibromyalgia, a condition that does not cause inflammation.

For more information, download the information sheet Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints. It usually develops after an infection, often in the bowel or genital areas. The infection causes activity in the immune system.

For more information, download the information sheet Reactive Arthritis

Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus

Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus are infections that are spread to humans through mosquito bites. They cause similar illnesses, including joint inflammation and pain. People of all ages are at risk of developing these infections. Ross River virus is the most common and widespread of mosquito borne diseases that infect humans in Australia.

For more information, download the information sheet Ross River & Barmah Forest

Scleroderma

The word ‘scleroderma’ means ‘hard skin’. Scleroderma affects the connective tissues of the body (tissues that hold together joints, muscles, blood vessels and internal organs). Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and also depend on what part of the body is involved.

For more information, download the information sheet Scleroderma

Sever’s disease (children)

Sever’s disease causes pain in the bone at the back of the heel. This pain occurs because of a mismatch between the growth of the calf bones and muscles. It is slightly more common in boys than girls and usually affects children aged 8 – 12 years.

For more information, download the information sheet Heels – Severs Disease

Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition. The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections and diseases to keep you healthy. In an autoimmune disease like Sjögren’s syndrome, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissues.

For more information, download the information sheet Sjögren Syndrome

Spondyloarthritis

Spondyloarthritis (sometimes called spondyloarthropathy or seronegative arthritis) is a name for types of arthritis that commonly affect the spine.

For more information, download the information sheet Spondyloarthritis

Source and credit: Arthritis Australia