Arthritis is so often thought as a single disease. But this is not the case. There are over a hundred different types of arthritis. Some start when you're young, even as a child, then there are some that don't show up until your senior years. Each type has different durations and severity.

The symptoms are generally similar, causing pain and stiffness in the joints. But different joints are affected and the severity of the symptoms will vary from each type or arthritis and how the individual is handling it.

There are 3 types of arthritis that are the most common and they are rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis and gout. Gout is caused by uric acid that crystallizes in the joints and causes a lot of pain. The same process can also cause kidney stones to form.

This is usually something that comes in episodes, and the first place it attacks is usually the big toe. It is not a young persons disease, this is usually a condition that comes in men after the age of 40.

Osteoarthritis is disease that is associated with aging, and is when the joints are worn down from excessive use. This causes inflammation, which is the beginning. This disease is usually seen in the wrists, knees, hips and hands. This is why it is one of the most debilitating forms or arthritis. These joints are necessary for mobility and activity.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that attacks the bodies' own immune system, which attacks the joints. This is a very common type and is not picky on what age you are when it strikes. There are many who never knew that the young could develop rheumatoid arthritis. This is a very important reason to have a doctor check you if you have problems with sore or inflamed joints.

Gout occurs due to the crystallization of uric acid in the joints, the same process which causes stone formation in the kidneys. Gout generally occurs in episodes, normally affecting the big toe first. It is generally a mid-life onset condition, being most prevalent in men aged 40+.

Arthritis is very common, but it is so important that your doctor diagnoses you. You need to know exactly what type of arthritis you have because they are all a bit different.