Arthritis isn’t a single condition and there are several different types. The word itself is used to describe around 200 conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. It is a rheumatic condition.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions related to arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but it can affect people of all ages, including children.
The exact cause of arthritis is unknown. Different types of arthritis have different causes. For instance, gout is the result of too much uric acid in your body. You may develop arthritis if; you have a family history of arthritis, have a job, or play a sport that puts repeated stress on your joints or have certain autoimmune diseases or viral infections.
Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Joint inflammation from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, pain, and warmth.
● Stiffness of the joint can lead to poor function.
● Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present with or without pain.
● When large joints are involved, such as the knee, there can be loss of cartilage with limitation of motion from the joint damage.
● When arthritis affects the small joints in fingers, there can be bone growth and loss of hand grip and grip strength of the hand associated with stiffness.
● Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can lead to difficulty walking from poor joint function and arthritis pain.
Is there a cure?
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and, for many types of arthritis, particularly inflammatory arthritis, there’s a clear benefit in starting treatment at an early stage.
Ways To Get Relief From Pain
Practice these simple strategies to reduce symptoms and get relief so you can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you have.
Manage your weight
Your weight can have a big impact on arthritis symptoms. Extra weight puts more pressure on your joints, especially your knees, hips, and feet.
Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) strongly recommend losing weight if you have OA and overweight or obesity.
Your doctor can help you set a target weight and design a program to help you reach that target.
Reducing the stress on your joints by losing weight can help improve your mobility, decrease pain, and prevent future damage to your joints.
Get enough exercise
Though you might think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff.
That’s because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.
Good exercise options include low-impact exercises, such as: walking, cycling, water activities, swimming.
Doctors will often recommend a course of physical therapy to help patients with arthritis overcome some of the challenges and to reduce limitations on mobility.
Forms of physical therapy that may be recommended include:
Warm water therapy: exercises in a warm-water pool. The water supports weight and puts less pressure on the muscles and joints
Physical therapy: specific exercises tailored to the condition and individual needs, sometimes combined with pain-relieving treatments such as ice or hot packs and massage
Occupational therapy: practical advice on managing everyday tasks, choosing specialized aids and equipment, protecting the joints from further damage, and managing fatigue
Acupuncture: An ancient form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting tiny needles into the skin to stimulate specific pressure points. Acupuncture helps stimulate connective tissue, improves blood flow, and activates the body’s natural painkillers.
Massage: Manipulating muscles with gentle or moderate pressure can reduce pain and increase range of motion. Timing is important—if you’re having a particularly bad flare-up, you may want to avoid putting additional strain on sore joints.
For most forms of arthritis, diets play little or no role in precipitating or exacerbating the condition. However, in general, oils of fish have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some osteoarthritis sufferers benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Some people with osteoarthritis feel they benefit from the curcumin that is present in curry foods.
Green tea, Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate.