Many men and women struggle with arthritis, which can cause everyday life to be less and less enjoyable. Arthritis is a physical condition in which inflammation causes your joints to swell. This can cause stiffness as well as pain, which can make it difficult to get around as well as you’d like. There are different kinds of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis seem to be the most common. Arthritis can occur at any age, but affects the older population more so than the younger. Osteoarthritis tends to be caused normally just by the aging process and the use of your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to be caused by an autoimmune disorder. There are actually over 100 types of arthritis that affect men and women of all ages. With it being so prevalent, it is important to understand how you can help prevent arthritis, as well as manage symptoms should you suffer from it.
There are several ways to help prevent arthritis, such as weight management, taking vitamins and supplements, regular exercise, which strengthen muscles around joints, and staying away from cigarettes and alcohol. Taking care of your body in such ways will not only help prevent you from suffering from arthritis, but will also help prevent other serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Symptoms of arthritis include swelling and pain in the joints, redness of the skin around a joint, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint. Arthritis can occur in the young and old and can be progressive. To find out if you are suffering from arthritis, doctors will test to see if there is fluid that is collecting in the joint. If your joint is red, tender, and warm, it could be arthritis. Doctors can also do blood tests and x-ray the joint. Sometimes an infection could be the cause, in which case joint fluid is removed and checked out.
Treatment of arthritis will vary depending on what type of arthritis it is, as well as your age. Some types are not curable, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, so in this case the aim is to reduce pain and swelling. Exercise can help alleviate or lessen stiffness. It is best to stretch, perform aerobics that is low-impact, and do some strength training. Sometimes physical therapy will help.
Keep stress at minimal levels, as this will help you both mentally and physically. You can try to reduce stress by participating in relaxation techniques, meditation, prayer, or yoga. Going for a walk 4 to 5 days a week in a quiet area will also help reduce stress and get you fit physically. Exercise in general will not only help with arthritis, but will help you to feel better physically and protect against other ailments as well. Others treatments involve over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen, hydrotherapy, warm compresses, and elevating the joints for 15 minutes per day. For more difficult cases, doctors can prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and pain. If you feel pain in your joints, perhaps it is time to take a trip to your doctor to see if you are suffering from arthritis. If so, you and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan.