Types of Arthritis 

Arthritis is a serious condition that affects thousands of Queenslanders everyday. If you have been recently diagnosed with arthritis, know someone who has, or have been suffering with arthritis symptoms for a long time, don’t delay asking for help.

The sooner you seek help and support, the better. Some forms of arthritis can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. This is why it's vital that you receive an accurate diagnosis of your condition from your GP before beginning treatment for arthritis. Some of the most common types are:

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Non-Inflammatory vs inflammatory arthritis 

Most types of arthritis are placed into two main categories, non-inflammatory arthritis and inflammatory arthritis. There are many types of inflammatory arthritis including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus and many more.

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man with knee arthritis sitting down wearing a knee brace


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and it affects over 2.1 million Australians and is treatable. There are many types of arthritis in hands, and osteoarthritis is one of the most common, however this form of arthritis can also affect joints in your knees, hips and spine.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints. There are a few types of rheumatoid arthritis and only 1% of Australians live with this form of arthritis. There are many different autoimmune arthritis types, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, and more.

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woman with ankle arthritis sitting on a rock at the beach


Gout is a common and very painful condition which occurs when small crystals form in joints. Small uric acid crystals are deposited in and around the joints, which can cause pain and inflammation.

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Juvenile Arthritis 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a form of arthritis in childhood under 16 years of age. Around 6,000 Australian children live with a form of arthritis and the most common diagnosis is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

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Fibromyalgia causes generalised pain, muscle stiffness, extreme fatigue and it seems to be caused by an overactive pain system. Unlike various forms of arthritis, sufferers of fibromyalgia tend not to experience any inflammation or damage to the painful areas.

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Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Usually only people who have the skin disease psoriasis are affected by PsA. But only 10 to 20% of people living with psoriasis will develop PsA and arthritis psoriatic symptoms which can include joint pain, stiffness and swelling. There are a few psoriatic arthritis types that can affect which areas of the body are targeted with pain or discomfort. While there is no cure, there are ways of treating psoriatic arthritis to ensure you can get back to living a quality life.

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Haemochromatosis and Haemochromatotic Arthritis

This condition is caused by build up of iron in your body. While iron is an important mineral that our body absorbs from food, people with heamochromatosis absorb too much iron which can cause damage to organs like their liver, heart, bones and joints.

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bluish green eye very close up

Sjogren's Syndrome 

Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune condition which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your body's healthy tissues. Sjogren's Syndrome particularly affects glands that make our tears and saliva, resulting in extremely dry eyes and mouth.

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hand touching an arthritis patient’s sore shoulder

Polymyalgia Rheumatica 

Polymyalgia rheumatica means "pain in many muscles" and is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints and the tissues around the joints. This causes muscles to feel painful and stiff, especially in the shoulder, neck and hip areas.

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Reactive Arthritis  

Reactive arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation, pain and swelling of the joints and is usually developed after an infection.

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Ross River virus & Barmah Forest virus 

These infections are spread through mosquito bites and result in joint inflammation and pain. About 30% of people infected with these viruses will develop symptoms like a rash and fever, which appear within 3 to 21 days after infection.

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Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition which results in excess collagen being produced. While collagen is necessary to have strong connective tissues that hold our joints, muscles, blood vessels and internal organs together, too much of it causes the tissue to harden and tighten.

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woman’s back


Spondyloarthritis is a name for types of arthritis that commonly affect the spine. There are several types of arthritis grouped under this name, including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, enteropathic arthritis, undifferentiated spondyloarthritis, and more.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis 

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease causing inflammation and pain in the spine. Early symptoms often include back and neck pain, which is usually worse early in the morning or after rest but improves with exercise and movement.

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Lupus is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or lupus) can impact not only joints but also various organs, such as kidneys and the brain.

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Giant cell arteritis

Giant Cell Arteritis is an auto-immune disease where the body attacks its own blood vessels. This can affect the main artery in the heart and smaller blood vessels in the head.

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Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) is a condition that affects ligaments, causing them to become hardened and calcified. DISH usually affects the ligaments around the spine.

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eldery person with hand on their cheek

Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes

EDS affects the connective tissues of the body. These are the tissues that hold together our joints, muscles, blood vessels and internal organs. 

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Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. It can stop you from being able to move, work and get a good night’s sleep. Even the simplest of everyday tasks can be painful.

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hip bone x ray

Hip arthritis

The Hips are one of the most common places in the body which can be affected by arthritis. Almost every type of arthritis (from over 120 different types) can impact the hip and cause pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation.

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Have you been diagnosed with Arthritis?

You’re not alone. At Arthritis Queensland, we’re here to support you through your diagnosis and help you find ways to manage your arthritis and live a fulfilled life.

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It is not uncommon for someone living with arthritis to be diagnosed with more than one arthritic condition. While treatments for each type of arthritis can vary, there are ways you can help to manage your arthritis no matter the type of arthritis you have. Talking to your doctors, educating yourself about your arthritis, keeping active and protecting your joints are all things that can help you manage your arthritis symptoms. Our resources are a great place to start if you’re unsure how to manage your arthritis
While there are more than 120 different types of arthritis, each type will have different symptoms that affect people in different ways. This is why it’s so important to find the treatment that works for you and your arthritis.
There is no one form of arthritis that is more painful than others. This is because each type will have a different impact on each person, from stiffness of joints, to muscle pain, rashes, redness and more.
By seeing your GP, you can start having conversations about your symptoms. By talking to your doctor, they will be able to review your history and perform the right tests to reach a diagnosis of your arthritis.
Some early warning signs of arthritis can include stiffness in joints and muscles, fatigue, losing range of motion, pain, swelling, or sometimes even fever. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend you visit your GP.



You can make a difference by supporting the work of Arthritis Queensland. Arthritis Queensland is 95% community funded. We rely on our generous donors and volunteers to ensure that we can continue to provide solutions and support to adults and children living with the pain of arthritis.