What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause damage to the joints which usually cause pain and stiffness. Anyone can get arthritis and even though most people think it's a normal part of getting older it actually affects people of any age , almost one in five people have arthritis. Arthritis can affect people from all backgrounds, ages and lifestyles There are many forms of inflammatory arthritis some of the most common are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Any joint can be affected, but most commonly:
- Small joints of the hands and feet
- Wrists, elbows, shoulders and knees,
- Lower back and hips
It is important to understand and learn about arthritis to be able to manage your condition, treat it and live a healthy and well life. A healthy lifestyle including the proper use of vitamins and supplements can dramatically help relieve symptoms of arthritis.
Arthritis affects each person in different way however some of signs that are typical and most common include:
- Pain, swelling and stiffness in one or multiple joints
- Morning stiffness in and around the affected joints lasting at least one hour
- Pain and stiffness that worsens with inactivity and improves with physical activity
- Reduced range of motion
- Redness and warmth in a joint
- General tiredness, weight loss or an unwell feeling
These symptoms can often affect the quality of life for an individual.
Not all pain in muscles and joints is caused by arthritis, it could be from an injury. However if you have pain and stiffness that seems to start for no clear reason, there is swelling, redness and warmth of your joints and lasts for more than a few days, it may be arthritis.
If you see your doctor they may do some tests and x-rays, to determine the stage of arthritis. It may take several visits to determine what type of arthritis you have as some types can be hard to diagnose in the early stages. Typically a doctor will prescribe medications to treat the symptoms of arthritis as currently there is no cure for arthritis.
There are treatments that can effectively control the symptoms associated with arthritis. Additionally there are things you can do to help improve your quality of life:
- Keep active, exercise, move your joints and keep your muscles strong
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat a well balanced diet
- Use heat to soothe sore joints and cold to reduce swelling
- Use proper vitamins and supplements to reduce pain and inflammation
Arthritis can make you feel frustrated, sad and sometimes angry, acknowledge these feelings and get help if they start affecting your daily life. However you can manage and relieve the symptoms of arthritis to live a full, happy and healthy life!