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Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Symptoms include joint aching and soreness, pain after overuse or after long periods of inactivity, or bony enlargements in the middle and end joints of the fingers.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammation in the lining of the joint or other internal organs. Symptoms include inflammation of joints, swelling, difficulty moving and pain.
Gout is a joint inflammation resulting from build-up of uric acid crystals in the joint. It occurs as an acute attack often coming on overnight. Within 12-24 hours there is severe pain and swelling in the affected joint. Gout most often occurs in the feet, particularly the big toe, and the ankles.
Treatment involves dietary interventions (eliminating foods that can increase uric acid levels) and use of medications. Anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDS (e.g. Indocid/indomethacin) and Colcrys/colchicine are used to treat the pain and discomfort associated with an acute attack.
Recurrent attacks will usually prompt your doctor to prescribe long-term medication to prevent the attacks from happening in the future. The most common medications used to prevent gout include allopurinol, Colcrys/colchicine and Uloric.