Do you suffer with arthritis? If so, you know how awful flare ups can be, and you would probably do just about anything to avoid one.

That brings up an interesting question though. What kinds of things cause your condition to suddenly worsen and flare up?

The answer is, it depends. Ultimately, it depends on exactly what kind of arthritis you have.

Below, we’ll break down the three major types of arthritis and the biggest reasons each type flare up.

Psoriatic Arthritis – The triggers here are virtually identical to the triggers for psoriasis and include things like stress, bacterial infection, injury to the skin, allergies, excess alcohol intake, weather changes, smoking and diet.

Osteoarthritis – Flare ups can be triggered by a variety of factors, both internal and external. The external factors include changes in barometric pressure and cold weather. Internal factors include stress, infection, overexertion, and trauma. Osteoarthritis flare ups can also be caused by repetitive motion or weight gain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Here, flare ups are caused primarily by any condition that causes your immune system to respond to inflammation. In particular, you’re looking at things like stress, overexertion, or even the eating of certain foods.

Rheumatoid arthritis is tricky because many of the drugs used to treat the condition have the impact of dampening the patient’s immune response. This, of course, increases the risk of infection, which in turn can increase the risk of a flare up.

In most cases, if you suffer from a flare up, a short course of corticosteroids will take care of it. If the flare up persists, contact your doctor immediately so he can review your medications and current dosages and make adjustments as needed.

Arthritis pain is no fun, and knowing what your most common triggers are will go a long way toward minimizing flare ups. That’s a very good thing.