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What is Inflammatory Arthritis?

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Most people do not say they have inflammatory arthritis. They talk about the specific type of arthritis that they have. So why do I say ‘inflammatory arthritis’ all the time?

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of arthritis – inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Technically, arthritis means inflammation of the joints (anytime you see a health condition ending in β€œitis” it refers to inflammation).

However, we have the non-inflammatory type of arthritis mostly to account for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition – the joints are damaged and that damage gets worse over time. There may be inflammation, but that is not a factor in diagnosing osteoarthritis.

The most common types of inflammatory arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. And, while still a mouthful, it is easier to say (or type) inflammatory arthritis, rather than spelling out each type every time.

These common types of inflammatory arthritis are similar in many ways, including:

  • Random flares
  • Morning stiffness that improves as you move around and returns if you rest for too long
  • Auto-immune, inflammatory conditions

Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondylitis are also treated with similar medications and have similar considerations in terms of lifestyle management. They are more alike than they are different.

The biggest consideration, in terms of healthy habits, is how your condition is impacting you. It doesn’t matter why your knees and hips are killing you when you’re trying to get yourself some dinner. All that matters at that moment is getting something good to eat as fast as possible so you can sit back down.

And now you know what inflammatory arthritis is and why I use that phrase rather than the individual types of arthritis. πŸ™‚

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