There are many types of arthritis. The type of arthritis that is of degenerative nature will most likely cause stiffness and pain. This type of arthritis is known as osteoarthritis. Arthritis affects joints leading to joint pain. If left untreated, it can lead to disability especially in the older age group.
What is Arthritis?
The meaning of word “arthritis” is joint inflammation. It comes from the word “arthron” in Greek meaning “joint” and Latin word “itis” meaning “inflammation”. In developed nations of the world arthritis is a major reason of disability among elderly people. Arthritis is not just one but a group of over 100 conditions, among which osteoarthritis is the most common generally affecting the elderly population.
Arthritis has several forms and in every form arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system. There are some forms of arthritis that can impact anyone in any age group and not just the elderly. Some forms of arthritis can strike individuals at a younger age.
A clear and distinct symptom of arthritis is joint pain. However, since joint pain can have many causes other than arthritis, it is advisable to get examined before concluding the condition to be arthritis. In addition, there could be gradually developing progressive stiffness. Osteoarthritis generally strikes older people in the age group of 55 or more.
Rheumatoid arthritis may cause problems such as:
- Stiff arms
- Stiff legs
- Stiff wrists
- Stiff fingers
- Painful swelling
Generally the pain is felt in the same joints upon waking up in the morning. Joints on both sides – left and right – of the body are affected.
Arthritis may be understood as joint problems. What exactly goes wrong in the joint or joints depend on the kind of arthritis an individual is inflicted with. Bone joints are the places where two bones move, and they are held by ligaments to keep the bones in place. The cartilage prevents the two bones from rubbing against each other. So, the bones can move painlessly and smoothly.
The joint cavity has synovial fluid in it to nourish the cartilage and joints. When a person suffers from arthritis, there can be several possibilities. Your body could be attacking itself (autoimmunity) or your cartilage could be undergoing wear and tear. It could be infection or a combination of one or more of these factors.
Arthritis treatment primarily relies on the following:
- Physical Activities
- Healthy Weight Maintenance
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This strategy can help in reducing the symptoms. Losing weight can take pressure off the joints. Those with gout should monitor the intake of the following items:
- Organ meats
Some exercises like stretching, strength training, and aerobic exercises are helpful for joint pain due to arthrits. Regular exercise can help maintain your body weight. In addition, anti-inflammatory drugs belonging to the class of non-steroidal drugs help relieve inflammation and pain by interfering with prostaglandins in the body that are responsible for fever, pain, and inflammation.
While there’s no cure for arthritis, it can certainly be prevented by preventing injuries to the joints, maintenance of healthy weight, and regular workout. Physical activities are not only good for a healthy heart but also for preventing arthritis and joint pain. In case someone already suffers from arthritis, losing weight can make a huge difference.
It is estimated that when a person walks, the knee is forced to absorb the weight of up to three times the body weight. So every pound you lose makes a huge difference to the impact felt on knees. In addition, a healthy diet also helps keep you fit and safe against arthritis.
ConsumerHealthDigest Medical References:
- Arthritis. (2012, April 12). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm
- Arthritis. (2011, January 22). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/arthritis/DS01122
- Get the Facts. (2013). The Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved August 18, 2013, from http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/understanding-arthritis/