Understanding Arthritis No one knows exactly what causes arthritis, but researchers believe that family history, lifestyle choices, and infection are important factors. Types of Arthritis Arthritis actually refers to more than 100 different diseases. Here's a look at some of the major types. Types of Rheumatic Disorders Besides arthritis, other common rheumatic disorders are Raynaud's phenomenon, scleroderma, and lupus. Treatment of Arthritis The goal of arthritis treatment is usually to limit pain and inflammation—and ensure the best joint function possible. Living With Arthritis Taking your medication and following your doctor's advice are important when you have arthritis. But exercise, rest, and a healthy diet are just as critical.