Arthritis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation of one or more joints, arthritis in its late stages can be crippling.
There are over 50-million people in the United States today that suffer from some form of arthritis, which means that chances are either you or someone you know has the condition. It’s not limited to one part of the body or another, and instead affects the cartilage, joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissues — so basically, everything.
And it also affects you no matter how old you are, so don’t think that this is just an “old person thing,” because everyone is susceptible to the problem.
There’s over 100 different forms of the condition, but if you have it, you likely have osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Let’s take a moment to break these down.
Some of the Different Types of Arthritis
The most common flavor of arthritis is Osteoarthritis. Think for a moment about how your body works. If you have a joint — elbow, arm, hand, ankle, etc. — then there’s going to be cartilage surrounding those joints. It acts like a shock absorber for your bones, so it does a good thing. But if you have Osteoarthritis, then that cartilage is breaking down (or has broken, depending on your situation), and now the bones are rubbing against each other. Understandably, that can cause some pain.
Must Watch Video – What is Osteoathritis?
Second up is Rheumatoid arthritis, which hits 1.5-million people in the U.S. In this scenario, the membranes in the joint tissue linings get inflamed, causing pain, stiffness and swelling in that area. Plus, this happens on both sides of your body, meaning that if, say, your right wrist is having problems, then your left wrist likely is as well.
Third is **Juvenile arthritis**, and it affects people that are under 16 years of age. This is difficult to diagnose accurately, but what we know is that if a child has swelling in at least one joint for at least six weeks, then they likely have the condition.
Causes of Arthritis
Knowing that there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis, and that it affects over 50-million people in the U.S., how do you figure out what causes the condition?
Well, let’s find out by talking about joints.
Any joint in your body is made up of a number of different components, including ligaments, cartilage, bones, and synovial fluid, all working in harmony to ensure that your joints function properly.
However, if just one of these parts has a problem, whether it’s caused from wear and tear or an actual injury, then you might have arthritis. And what a doctor does is determine what kind of arthritis you have, and that, therefore, tells you (and them) where you’re having your problem. And that tells them how to give you treatment for your condition.
Which segues us nicely to …
Treatment for Arthritis
Before we dig in too far, let’s make up a scenario. Say you go to your doctor complaining of pain in your right hand, a spot where you were injured about a year prior. If the cartilage was damaged in that accident, then there’s a chance you have Osteoarthritis, so you’ll need to be treated for that. But say you had that pain in your right hand and your left hand, and there was no injury. You might have Rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. No matter which condition (or variety thereof) you may have, it’s that initial diagnosis that will tell the doctor what to do.
That said, most treatments for arthritis focus on making the joints function better while giving you pain relief. Although your head may tell you that restricting exercise is your best option, there’s a ton of research that says that if you’re doing endurance training or resistance exercises that you’re helping your arthritis, not hurting it. And, as is the case in a lot of conditions, reducing your weight and avoiding injuries can also help.
If the pain is becoming a larger issue, physical therapy is the next step up the ladder. Eating properly is another biggie, and avoiding fatty beef or pork, white bread, and high sugar foods (among-st others) will assist in your getting better.
If things are truly bad, then it’s time to see a professional. Corticosteroid injections help, as they’re designed to reduce inflammation, and that’s a factor with arthritis patients. There are other fancy treatments available as well, including joint injections and medial branch blocks, both of which require a doctor to perform. But whether you choose one of these or one of many other different options out there, you do have lots of choices for treatment.
Conclusions about Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you’re in good company. After all, if 50-million Americans have the condition, then chances are you know a few people who have it as well. There are lots of different treatment options out there, and the best place to start is with a pain specialist. They can get you started on the right path by diagnosing the type of arthritis that you have and treating it appropriately.
Don’t wait; start your treatment today so you don’t have to suffer any longer.