Arthritis is a common problem of elderly people but it can also occur in young adults and even children. The joints and the tissues surrounding them degenerate as we grow older that is why arthritis is common to older people.
Millions of people are suffering from arthritis and the disabilities that come with it and if you are one of those people, it is good to know that there is something you can do about it.
You can improve your condition and cope with arthritis pain if you know how to handle arthritis. The following tips can be very helpful in coping with arthritis.
Arthritis covers a broad spectrum of disease. To many, the term arthritis means pain and inflammation of the joints – but, arthritis is a much more complex medical condition. The term arthritis comes from the Latin phrase, “arth” meaning joint and “it is” meaning inflammation.
There are over 100 illnesses associated with the term arthritis. Arthritis can range from something as simple as tendonitis to something as chronic as rheumatoid arthritis.
Three Most Common Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis – The most common type of arthritis. This degenerative joint disease affects over 16 million Americans.
This form of arthritis is caused when the cartilage surrounding the ends of the bones begins to degenerate and the joints are no longer cushioned. This caused the joints to rub together and in severe cases, you can hear the bones grating against one another.
At the onset of osteoarthritis, the symptoms are usually mild and consist of pain and stiffness of the joints. As the disease progresses, inflammation and loss of motion can occur. In some severe cases, deformity can occur if the grinding joints wear one side of the joint more than the other.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is the second most common type of arthritis and the most severe. Symptoms usually begin appearing between the ages of 25 and 50 – however, children and senior citizens can experience the onset of this disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease because factors other than wear and tear of cartilage can cause the disease and the disease can affect other organs, such as the eyes, lungs, and heart.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Usually affects The Joints on Both sides of The Body –
For instance, both hands will be affected, both wrists will be affected, and both legs will be affected. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are a pain, stiffness, swelling, redness of the skin, fatigue, weight loss, and low-grade fever.
Not only affecting the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can give you an overall feeling of sickness. Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating disease, however, patients can experience periods of remission in which the symptoms disappear and they can lead a normal life.
Fibromyalgia – This is a type of arthritis that does not directly affect the joints. Rather, the inflammation and pain affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues under the skin.
Many patients have tender spots under the skin that are painful when any type of pressure is applied. The symptoms of Fibromyalgia include deep muscle pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, and depression. Symptoms may come and go, but the disease is long-term and chronic.
Other Types Of Arthritis
Ankylosing Spondylitis – A chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the spine. The common symptoms include lower back pain and stiffness that lasts for more than a period of three months, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, weight loss, and low-grade fever.
Gout – This disease usually affects the joints of the big toe, but can extend to the ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbow. The common symptoms are tenderness, pain, redness, warmth, and swelling of the affected joint.
Infectious Arthritis – This type of arthritis is caused by an infection, and can be caused by both bacterial and viral infections. The onset of infectious arthritis is sudden and the symptoms include swelling of the joint, soreness, warmth, leakage of tissue fluid, fever, and chills.
Cervical Arthritis – this type of arthritis affects the upper back and can cause pain in the neck and arms. Cervical arthritis is caused when the cartilage protecting the discs that support the neck deteriorate. The most common symptom of cervical arthritis is chronic  neck pain but can include loss of balance, headaches, muscle weakness, and stiffness.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis – This inflammatory arthritis affects children. The most common symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are swelling, pain, and stiffness in joints. The symptoms are usually worse in children upon waking in the morning and after a nap.
There is no known reason for the onset of arthritis in children and, unlike rheumatoid arthritis in adults, children sometimes outgrow the disease and the symptoms disappear.
These are just some of the many types of arthritis. In general terms, arthritis is any disease that involves inflammation – swelling and pain of the joints or muscles.
If you suspect that you suffer from arthritis, you should consult your physician to determine the type of arthritis and learn what treatments are available.
Get The Right Diagnosis
If you are suffering from pain, swelling, and stiffness in and around your joints you might be suffering from arthritis but it is important to get the right diagnosis because there are different types of arthritis and treatments depend on the type of arthritis you have.
You need to know the specific type of arthritis you have to be able to handle arthritis the correct way. Arthritis can result in joint and cartilage damage or disability so it is important to consult your doctor or get medical intervention as early as possible to avoid the condition from getting worse.
Know The Facts About Arthritis
As we grow older we may suffer from degenerative diseases like arthritis. People have to face the fact that as we grow older our body will degenerate and arthritis is a possibility.
If you already have arthritis, you have to face it and know the facts to properly handle arthritis. As the saying goes, knowledge is power.
Reading materials about arthritis can be very helpful and of course, your doctor can explain to you everything about arthritis, so do not hesitate to ask.
Take Care of your Joints
To handle arthritis you have to avoid putting more stress on your joints. If you need to use self-help devices specifically made for people with arthritis to protect your joints while doing tasks at home, in the office and outdoors , do not hesitate to use one. To properly handle arthritis, you need to take care and protect your joints to avoid further damage and disabilities.
Keep An Active Life
Keeping a sedentary life is not good for people with arthritis so one of the best ways to handle arthritis is to be physically active. Stay physically active to improve blood circulation, lessen arthritis pain and increase your range of motion.
Your doctor or physical therapist can help you with the appropriate exercises and physical activities suitable for your condition to avoid injuries.
Different exercises will be recommended by your health provider to increase your range of motion, improve endurance and strengthen your joints. Whatever exercise program you need, one of the best ways to handle arthritis is to keep an active life.
Use The Power Of Music
People with arthritis may not only suffer from physical pain but also from depression, one good way to uplift your mood and somehow forget the pain is by listening to good music.
Feeding your mind with beautiful thoughts while listening to your favorite music can reduce arthritis pain. To effectively handle arthritis, you have to learn how to divert your thoughts to something else to avoid feeling depressed and to cope with arthritis pain.
It is not good if you are on the heavy side and you have arthritis. Too much weight can add stress to your joints and can worsen your condition. It is easier to handle arthritis if you are not overweight.
Losing weight is not only good for your arthritis but it is also good for your overall health. Avoid fattening foods and eat a well-balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight.
Meet your Calcium Needs
Do not neglect your daily calcium needs because your bones need calcium to stay healthy. Adults younger than 50 yrs old need a daily calcium of 1,000 mg and those older than 50 need 1,200 mg.
It is a must for adults to meet their daily calcium needs to avoid bone problems especially if you have arthritis. You can get your calcium from drinking milk or from consuming milk products like cheese and yogurt. You can also get your calcium from fruits and vegetables.
Calcium supplements can be very helpful but ask your doctor first before taking calcium vitamins because your bones may not absorb too much calcium and this may increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
If you want to properly handle arthritis, you have to wear comfortable shoes. You do not need those fashionable but uncomfortable shoes now. Of course, you can still look good on comfortable shoes so you do not have to worry about your looks.
Well fitted comfortable shoes are good for your feet and will protect your joints preventing your arthritis from getting worse. To handle arthritis effectively, you have to treat your feet nicely by wearing comfortable shoes.
The newest discovery reveals that microvesicles can penetrate the cartilage. Microvesicles are tiny fragments of the plasma membrane which are 1 micrometer or less in diameter.
They transport proteins, messenger RNA and micro-RNA to target cells. Microvesicles also play an important role in the intercellular communication.
The research shows that neutrophils-the highly motile but short-lived white blood cells formed from stem cells inside the bone marrow release microvesicles that can enter the patient’s cartilage.
There are two things that microvesicles can do that can change the way arthritis treatment work. First, microvesicles can pass through the cartilage.
Second, they protect the cartilage with arthritis. The moment microvesicles get inside they activate the body’s repair mechanisms to promote cartilage regeneration inside the joint.
The microvesicles contain Annexin-A1, an anti-inflammatory protein that prevents the death of cartilage cells and stimulates these cells to regenerate the tissue by producing more cells. If microvesicles are fortified with therapeutic agents like Omega-3, the tissue repair may work faster.
The researchers concluded that the microvesicles can be a new therapeutic strategy for individuals not only with arthritis but also those who are suffering from any type of cartilage damage.
The doctors can also introduce medicine or supplements to speed up the healing process by fortifying the microvesicles with therapeutic agents. The procedure may only require the patients to stay in the hospital for a day.
It can be really hard to live with arthritis but there are ways to easily cope with arthritis and improve the quality of your life. Early diagnosis, management, and treatment can save you from serious complications and costly hospitalizations.
Learning to manage arthritis as early as possible can also help you function better. Not to mention that it can be a symptom of a disease so it is important to see your doctor evaluate your overall health condition.
If left untreated, arthritis can become a chronic problem that can torment you for the rest of your life. If you really want to achieve arthritis freedom, seek professional help.
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