Arthritis is a general term for conditions that affect the joints or tissues around the joint. There are more than 100 types of arthritis.

Most types of arthritis cause pain and stiffness in and around the affected joint or joints. Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also affect the immune system and some internal organs of the body.

Healthcare providers usually diagnose arthritis using the patient’s medical history, physical examination, X-rays, and tests that include bloodwork.
Common types of Arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Fibromyalgia

Scientists are studying the role of factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment in different types of arthritis to learn more possible causes and risk factors.

What you should do

  • Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around one or more of your joints.
  • Practice simple strategies to reduce symptoms and get relief so you can pursue the activities that are important to you. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are “self-management” strategies and activities. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you have:
  • Join a self-management resource center program, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make better decisions about your health. Evidence-based self-management workshops will help you to:
    • Feel more in control of your health
    • Manage pain and other symptoms
    • Carry out daily activities, like going to work and spending time with loved ones
    • Reduce stress
    • Improve your mood
    • Communicate better with your health care provider(s) about your care