Types of Arthritis

Overview of 3 Types of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
Description One of the most common types of arthritis. Known as as "wear-and-tear" arthritis. It’s caused by breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones, causing them to rub together.3 A type of arthritis that's caused not by daily use of the joints; instead, a glitch in the body's immune system causes it to attack and break down cartilage, damage the joints, and possibly affect other organs.1,3 An arthritis-related joint disease whose exact cause is unknown, but genetics is thought to play a role.2
Symptoms Pain and stiffness felt particularly in knees, hips, back, or hands.3

May cause significant pain and disability.3
Pain felt primarily in wrists, hands, and feet. Neck, elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles can also be affected.4

May also cause appetite loss, fever, lack of energy, or anemia.4
Pain felt primarily in the spine but can affect other joints.2 Over time, AS breaks down bone and cartilage, causing the spine joints to fuse.2

May lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.
Prevalence Affects about 27 million Americans aged 25 and older; more common in women.3 Affects about 1.5 million American adults; more common in women.4 Affects up to 1 million American adults; more common in men.5

You can find helpful information on the Arthritis Foundation website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

"Arthritis" is a general term for different types of joint diseases. Three types of arthritis are

  • Osteoarthritis1
  • Rheumatoid arthritis1
  • Ankylosing spondylitis2

These joint diseases can affect your knees, hips, back, hands, and other joints. What's happening inside your joints is what’s causing the arthritis pain that can keep you from doing the things you enjoy.1,2

Understanding the Different Arthritis Diagnoses

Because there are several different types of arthritis, it's important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor, who will diagnose which type of arthritis you may have and then prescribe the appropriate treatment.

The information here will help you get a better understanding of 3 types of arthritis

  • How they impact the joints
  • Who is typically affected by them
  • How a medication like VIMOVO may be able to help treat your arthritis pain

The information on this website is not intended as medical advice and should not take the place of talking with your doctor about how to manage and treat your osteoarthritis. If you have any questions about osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You should also talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you would like more information about VIMOVO.


  1. Arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Arthritis/default.asp. Accessed May 22, 2014.
  2. Ankylosing spondylitis. Spondylitis Association of America website. http://www.spondylitis.org/about/as.aspx. Accessed May 22, 2014.
  3. Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_info/Osteoarthritis/default.asp. Accessed May 22, 2014.
  4. Handout on health: rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Accessed May 22, 2014.
  5. Dean LE, Jones GT, MacDonald AG, Downham C, Sturrock RD, Macfarlane GJ. Global prevalence of ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014;53:650-657.