Understanding Symmetric and Asymmetric Arthritis

At Progressive Pain and Interventional Psychiatry we treat many different types of chronic pain including arthritis. Arthritis can present in one of two ways; asymmetric and symmetric arthritis. Symmetric arthritis is arthritis that occurs in the same place on both sides of your body; such as arthritis in both right and left wrists.

Asymmetric arthritis is arthritis that occurs in just one joint or a joint on only one side of your body; such arthritis of the left knee. Understanding your unique type of arthritis can mean the difference between effective and ineffective treatments.

Understanding your Unique Pain

While identifying whether you have asymmetric or symmetric arthritis is important, these classifications are just characteristics of your arthritis. Knowing whether you have an inflammatory or non-inflammatory is also necessary to provide effective treatment.Inflammatory arthritis develops when something such as an autoimmune disease is causing your arthritis and is usually symmetrical.

Non-inflammatory arthritis is caused by overuse of the joints and is usually asymmetric. Osteoarthritis is an example of non-inflammatory arthritis that can develop over years of over-use. Determining the type and cause of arthritis that you have is essential in developing a treatment plan that works for your pain.