Four Types of Arthritis and How They're Treated

misc image

Millions of Americans have arthritis, a joint condition characterized by swelling, stiffness, and pain. Arthritis can’t be cured, but treatment can make a big difference — and the treatment that’s right for you depends on your unique condition.

Arthritis is chronic joint inflammation. It can affect the bones, cartilage, or other tissues in your joints, and there are more than 100 different types of arthritis in all.

No matter which type of arthritis you have, the most common symptoms are joint pain and stiffness. However, different types benefit from different treatments — and that’s where Dr. Maher Ibrahim and our team at Interventional Pain Management Associates come in.

We specialize in diagnosing and treating arthritis. Here, we describe four of the most common types of arthritis and how we treat them. 


More than 32 million American adults have osteoarthritis (OA), making it the most common form of arthritis. Nicknamed wear-and-tear arthritis, OA develops as the cartilage in your joints breaks down due to age or injury.

Cartilage is a slick tissue that protects the bones in your joints, but it gradually deteriorates as you get older. Repetitive motion wears the joint out faster, and damaged cartilage can’t protect your bones. Common symptoms of OA include joint inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

Treating OA

While the damage OA causes can’t be reversed, starting arthritis treatment early can help slow joint deterioration and reduce your symptoms. Dr. Ibrahim and our team take a comprehensive approach to treating OA, with the goal of improving your quality of life. 

We typically recommend conservative care like physical therapy, exercise, and pain medication. In more advanced cases, we may recommend joint injections or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.


Affecting over 9 million adults in the United States, gout is one of the most common types of arthritis. Gout causes sudden, intense inflammation in just one joint — usually the big toe.

Gout flares quickly, and symptoms can include intense pain, redness, heat, and swelling. The attack may last for a few days or weeks, then the gout typically goes into remission and you don’t have symptoms for a long period of time.

Treating gout

To treat gout, we help you manage the symptoms of gout flares and prevent future flares. If you’re experiencing a flare, we prescribe pain medication. If you’re trying to prevent future flares, we may recommend weight management, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a low-purine diet. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, and it affects about 1.3 million American adults. If you have RA, your body’s immune system attacks the synovial lining inside your joints.

RA is most common in small joints, like your wrists or fingers. The immune response makes your joints swollen, and symptoms include restricted flexibility, stiffness, and pain. Some people with RA notice that their symptoms come and go.

Treating RA

Like other forms or arthritis, there’s no cure for RA. However, starting treatment early helps minimize lasting joint damage and bothersome symptoms. Dr. Ibrahim and our team may prescribe physical therapy alongside medications like disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or corticosteroids.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is linked to a skin condition called psoriasis. Psoriasis causes painful, itchy skin rashes, and up to 30% of people who have psoriasis also get psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis shares similar symptoms to RA. It causes joint swelling, pain, and deformity, and it usually affects small joints in the hands, fingers, feet, and toes. Some people get symmetrical arthritis, which affects the same joints on both sides of the body equally.

Treating psoriatic arthritis

Treating psoriatic arthritis involves treating psoriasis, too. Dr. Ibrahim and our team develop a plan to manage inflammation and reduce psoriasis flare-ups with treatments that can include pain medication, DMARDs, biologic drugs, or steroid injections. 

When joint pain hits, it’s important to find out what’s causing it so you can start treatment right away. Book an appointment at Interventional Pain Management Associates online or call our office in Hamilton, New Jersey, at 609-757-9860 today.