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Types of arthritis

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How many forms of arthritis are there?

There are 200 types of arthritis – or musculoskeletal conditions – which are spilt into three classifications:

  • Inflammatory arthritis – such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout

  • Non-inflammatory arthritis – such as osteoarthritis, scoliosis, torn ligaments

  • Connective tissue disease – such as lupus, sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome.

What's the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a more common form of arthritis. It is a non-inflammatory form of arthritis and is usually diagnosed by an X-ray. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis where the immune system attacks the joints and is often diagnosed by a blood test.

Is there a local support group for my specific condition?

There are many support groups for specific types of arthritis both based in the UK and online communities. Please look at our links page for further information. You might want to share your experiences and communicate with other people with your condition by joining the Arthritis Care discussion forum




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