5 Most Common Forms of Arthritis

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ah, the golden years. Time to relax, make memories with the family, and bask in the rewards earned from years of hard work.

It’s your time!

But often with age come unwanted guests:

Morning stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain, back pain, hip pain, joint inflammation-the list goes on. These troubles can leave you watching from the sidelines during one of the most important periods in your life.

That’s why you need to know what to look for to spot the most common types of arthritis!

In today’s post, we’ll show you the 5 common forms of these inflammatory diseases, as well as natural treatment options for a healthy, safe treatment plan. Let’s take a look!


What is Arthritis?

While there are specific types of arthritis, the term generally describes degenerative or autoimmune diseases responsible for causing pain and inflammation in joints and surrounding soft tissues. You may also experience inflamed and hot rashes if you’re dealing with an arthritic skin disease.

  • Degenerative arthritis occurs when a joint injury or overuse causes recurring joint damage when cartilage (connective tissue) wears down and bones rub against one another.
  • Autoimmune inflammatory arthritis describes diseases in which your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells in the joints. (1)

Here are profiles of the 5 most common arthritis types.


  • Degenerative disease
  • Risk factors:
    • Age: Because it’s a degenerative (wear-and-tear) disease, your risk increases the older you get. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe over one-third of American adults over 65 show signs of OA.
    • Gender: Women are at greater risk of developing OA, especially as they get older.
    • Genetics: If you have a family history of OA, you’re at greater risk of developing it.
    • Having other diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, gout,  
    • Obesity
    • Joint damage from overuse
    • Poor posture, often from a sedentary lifestyle

The only degenerative form of arthritis on our list of common arthritis forms is also the most common type. It affects over 30 million adults and occurs when the cartilage (connective tissue) at the ends of your bones wears down in the joints, causing the bones to scrape against one another. This results in joint pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

Learn more about osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Risk factors:
    • Age: Common in people ages 40+
    • Sex: Women develop RA more often
    • Obesity
    • External/Environmental Factors: Doctors are are unsure about the exact cause of RA, but they know environmental factors play a role when interacting with genetics. Smoking or inhaling second hand smoke increases the likelihood you’ll develop RA.
    • Genetics: A family history of the disease may increase your chances of developing RA.

This connective tissue disease tends to affect joints in the hands, fingers, feet, toes, ankles, wrists, and back. The connective tissues lining affected joints flare up and swell. They’re often painful and warm to the touch. RA limits your range of motion, so tasks you once had no trouble performing may seem difficult now. Your body may also indicate the presence of this rheumatic disease with inflammation in your eyes, fever, fatigue, and weight loss.

Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Risk factors:
    • Having psoriasis itself, a closely related autoimmune disease that only affects the skin, puts you at greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis.
    • Genetics: A family history of the disease may increase your chances of developing psoriatic arthritis.
    • Age: Common in people ages 30+
    • External/Environmental Factors: Heavy alcohol consumption, smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, and severe stress may contribute to developing psoriatic arthritis.

This is another autoimmune disease were the immune system attacks skin and joint tissue causing red, scaly patches on your skin. The areas often itch or burn, leading to frustrated scratching and open sores.

Learn more about psoriatic arthritis.


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Risk factors:
    • Genetics: Scientists believe a mutated STAT4 gene is associated with an increased risk of developing Lupus. As with the other autoimmune diseases, a family history of lupus may also increase the likelihood you’ll get it.
    • Age: Diagnoses often occur between ages 18-44.
    • Sex: Women are more likely to develop lupus.

Lupus (also called systemic lupus erythematosus)  develops when your immune system attacks healthy cells in the body. Joint pain, internal organ pain, and a telltale “butterfly” rash on the face called a malar rash are common symptoms of lupus.

Learn more about lupus.


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Risk factors:
    • Age: Gout tends to occur in people ages 45+.
    • Sex: Men are at greater risk of developing gout due to higher uric acid levels.
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • External/Environmental: Consuming too much alcohol (2 drinks or more a day) increases your risk of developing gout or triggering an acute attack.

All hail the king! Historians have referred to gout as “the king of diseases and the disease of kings”. This is because it is one of the most documented diseases over the centuries, and people thought it a gluttonous intake of food and alcohol by those who could afford it caused gout to appear. A buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints (often in the big toe) causes them to become bloated, swollen, and painful to touch.

Learn more about gout.

Conditions Related to Arthritis

Two runners-up include:

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis-While not as common, arthritis can occur in children and adolescents, too. This is the most common form of arthritis in children. There are a number of sub-types of juvenile arthritis, and doctors are unsure of where this autoimmune disease stems from. Learn more about juvenile arthritis.
  • Fibromyalgia-While sometimes mistaken for polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia isn’t an inflammtory disease. It’s a form of chronic pain syndrome scientists believe stems from central nervous system malfunctioning. Fibromyalgia causes amplified pain throughout the muscles in the body. Learn more about fibromyalgia.


Arthritis Pain Management

The different forms of arthritis all come with specific treatment plans, so you’ll want to check out the individual articles linked above.

One common symptom across most of them is inflammation.

Here are some natural ways to help soothe arthritis pain and reduce inflammation:


Conclusion: Common Forms of Arthritis

We’ve covered the 5 typical types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gout
  • and Lupus.

If you find yourself suffering from any of these, start with small steps like an omega-3 supplement or some gentle exercise to help reduce inflammation. As always, check with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


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GLX3 Research Team


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