Nearly 50% of adults 65 and older have some form of arthritis in their joints. Although osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease, there are off 100 different types of arthritis including gout, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Although very common, arthritis is not well understood. Simply, Arthritis is a way of describing pain due to inflammation of one or more of your joints. Most common among women and the elderly, arthritis can affect anyone regardless of race, sex or age. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
Symptoms might include decreased range of motion, pain, stiffness and swelling. These symptoms can be frequent and range from mild to severe. Arthritis symptoms can last for years and even worsen over time.
Common Types of Arthritis
As cartilage wears away, bone begins to rub against bone. This can cause pain, swelling and stiffness.
Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis are two examples of inflammatory arthritis.
This unique type of inflammatory arthritis is caused when bacteria, virus or fungus enter the joint and triggers inflammation.
Uric acid is commonly formed in the body to break down purines, found in cells and foods. Having excessive levels or uric acid can cause needle-like crystals in the joint which can result in sudden spikes of extreme joint pain or gout.
How to Manage Your Arthritis
Ways to help manage arthritis include staying moderately active with rest between activities, hot and cold therapies, eating a healthy balance diet, maintaining a healthy weight, improving sleep habits and avoid smoking and alcohol.
When Should You See a Doctor
If joint paint persists, going to the doctor for a diagnosis and getting treatment is important. You can develop significant joint pain and other serious issues if arthritis is not treated.
Arthritis is a disease but with the right treatment, plenty of rest and a balanced diet, arthritis doesn’t have to ruin plans or stop you from doing what you want to do. Going to your doctor and diagnosing arthritis early can limit damage and give you many years of happy, healthy activity.