Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain and disability today. It has been estimated that more than 50 million adult Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis. Even children as young as one year of age are susceptible to this common affliction. Throughout America, over 300,000 young children are affected by juvenile arthritis. In spite of the prevalence of this disease, researchers are still quite limited in their understanding of what causes it. Several theories relating to the underlying cause of arthritis about, but continuing studies haven’t revealed new information that could help determine more effective treatment methods. While much additional research into arthritis is still needed, there are a variety of successful treatment options available today that can help make the disease easier to deal with. What exactly is arthritis? What are the risk factors for developing it? Is surgery the only option for treatment? The paragraphs that follow will answer these important questions.
Arthritis: What is it?
Arthritis is actually a term used to describe over 100 different diseases that affect the health of the joints throughout the body. Mild forms of arthritis can cause stiffness, a decreased range of motion, and pain in the affected joints. Mild forms of the disease can remain about the same for many years or may never reach the point of worsening in severity. Severe forms of arthritis can cause debilitating pain and a serious crippling of the affected joints that prevent the patient from engaging in even basic functions of day to day life.
Degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is the most common type of the disease. Degenerative arthritis is thought to be a simple byproduct of aging. As people get older, the protective tissue and lubricating fluid lining the joints can wear away. This can result in a situation where bone rubs directly against bone rather than having the protection of surrounding cartilage. This leads to deformities in the bone and chronic pain.
Who Develops Arthritis?
While anyone of any age of background can suffer from arthritis, there are several clear-cut risk factors that elevate the chances that an individual might develop the condition. These risk factors are listed below.
As a person gets older, their odds of developing arthritis increase due to the effects of the natural aging process.
– Previous Injuries
Bone fractures or other types of traumatic injuries increase the risk of developing arthritis in these same areas later in life.
While both men and women develop arthritis, it is more common among females.
While having an immediate family member with arthritis doesn’t definitively guarantee an individual will get the disease, it does increase his or her chances of developing it.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis
Symptoms associated with arthritis can vary quite a bit. In fact, the associated symptoms not only vary across types of the disease, but they vary across individual patients as well. Even the same patient may experience a wax and wane in their symptoms for no rhyme or reason. That said, the following symptoms are the most common ones to be experienced by arthritis sufferers.
Pain associated with arthritis can be constant, or it can come and go. It can be mild at times or more severe in nature. Pain is common when first getting up in the mornings and when engaging in physical activity.
A stiffness of the affected joints is the most common first thing in the morning, but it can occur at any time.
-Redness of the Joints
Some individuals with arthritis experience a reddening of the overlying skin of the affected joints. This symptom is more common in inflammatory types of arthritis.
-Limited Range of Motion
Most people suffering from arthritis experience a limited range of motion in the affected joints and this can gradually worsen over time.
Swelling of the affected joints is extremely common in arthritis sufferers. Swelling will usually worsen with physical activity.
Is Surgery the Only Treatment Option for Arthritis?
Although many may think so, surgery is not the only option for dealing with the severe repercussions arthritis can bring about. In fact, many patients prefer less invasive treatment options to manage their bothersome symptoms. Some of the helpful recommendations listed below can provide much-needed relief without going under the knife.
– Mild Exercise
Mild forms of exercise such as swimming and walking can be very helpful in managing arthritis symptoms. It’s important to maintain strong muscles without putting extra stress on the joints. For this reason, low-impact forms of exercise are ideal.
– Weight Loss
Carrying even a small amount of extra weight on the body adds to the pressure felt by the joints. Weight loss of even 10 or 20 pounds can take a lot of the stress off the affected joints and result in less pain.
As with many things in life, arthritis sufferers need to strike a balance between rest and activities. It’s important to keep moderately active, but it’s equally important not to overdo it.
– Avoiding Repetitive Movements
Repetitive movements are common in some types of work, as well as certain hobbies and sports. While these activities can be fun, the repetitive movements involved cause a lot of stress to the joints. It is best to limit these types of actions.
– Use of Anti-inflammatory Medications
Just as the name implies, anti-inflammatory medications are useful for reducing swelling and pain in those who suffer from arthritis.
Osteo Relief Institute
The Osteo Relief Institute of New Jersey has been providing residents of Monmouth and surrounding counties effective ways of controlling arthritis symptoms for a number of years. The focus of the Osteo Relief Institute is to provide treatment options that effectively reduce pain and allow the patient to live the fullest life possible.
The Osteo Relief Institute believes that all patients deserve compassionate care that extends far beyond simply treating the symptoms that are present. For this reason, the qualified staff of the Osteo Relief Institute goes above and beyond in taking the initiative to treat every patient as if they were family.
The Osteo Relief Institute also believes that many non-invasive treatment options should be available to arthritis sufferers everywhere. Most arthritis sufferers prefer to avoid surgery if at all possible, so the medical professionals at the Osteo Relief Institute put their focus on technologically advanced treatment options that are both effective and non-invasive.
The Osteo Relief Institute continues to pour their heart into expanding on the current research available on arthritis management techniques so that they can continue to provide superior treatment options for their patients.
Arthritis is quite possibly the most common cause of debilitating joint pain, stiffness, and disability in America today. While millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds suffer from this common ailment, research has been rather limited regarding understanding the root cause. While we may never fully understand why some individuals develop arthritis and others with the same risk factors do not, there are several successful management techniques available today. These treatment options can alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis and make this common affliction easier to deal with. Holistic patient-focused treatment centers such as the Osteo Relief Institute can provide much-needed relief while maintaining the dignity of the arthritis sufferer (http://www.osteoreliefinstitutelouisville.com/). Help is available at the Osteo Relief Institute, and there is no reason for patients to suffer in silence.