By far the majority of arthritis is due to just wear and tear or osteoarthritis. There are however other forms of arthritis. At times inflammation may cause arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a more common type of inflammatory arthritis. What happens in a nutshell is that the immune system goes into a kind of overdrive. Antibodies are produced against the joints, as the immune system mistakenly identifies one’s own joints as a foreign invader.
These antibodies in turn result in an at times vigorous response. Joints of the hand are particularly susceptible. Fingers become swollen, deformed and painful. If not treated the deformities can become permanent.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of many autoimmune diseases in which the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to various areas of the body, including joints. Other autoimmune diseases which can result in joint inflammation include lupus and inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohns and ulcerative colitis.
Ankylosing spondlyitis is a connective tissue disease, in which looser than normal connective tissue is present. This can sometimes lead to arthritis as a consequence of the abnormal connective tissue. Ehlers Danlos syndrome is a similar type of condition associated with arthritis.
Treatment of these type of arthritis usually involves therapy directed against the disease process, as well as standard arthritis medications such as Ibuprofen.
Remember that if you have chronic joint pain it is not always due to the wear and tear osteoarthritis. You should see your doctor for any ongoing joint pain, which persists despite Tylenol and or Ibuprofen or other over the counter medications.