Many Americans deal with arthritis daily and since it is Pain Awareness Month, we would like to go over a few basic questions you may ask.
What is arthritis?
Acute or chronic inflammation of one or more joints, usually accompanied by pain and stiffness, resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, autoimmune disease, or other causes.
What causes arthritis? Is it an age-related disease?
Arthritis can start suddenly without any obvious cause, and at any age. Sometimes something in your lifestyle or medical history – or a combination of these – could be responsible.
A number of factors may increase your risk of developing a condition if you’re already susceptible to it:
- A previous injury can increase your risk of osteoarthritis
- A physically demanding job can also increase your risk of osteoarthritis
- Some foods may appear to make your arthritis worse, although your food intolerance is unlikely to cause it
- Infections or an allergic reaction can cause short-lived arthritis
What are the different types of arthritic conditions and how can each be cured?
There are over 100 different types of arthritic conditions. The most common are: Osteoarthritis,Rheumatoid arthritis and Post-traumatic arthritis.
Treatment can include:
- Exercises to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength
- Medications are use to control pain
- Heat/Cold therapy for temporary relief
- Sometimes surgery is necessary to relieve chronic pain in severely damaged joints
- Weight control to prevent extra stress on weight-bearing joints
Lifestyle or a medical history can be the chief causes of Arthritis, but with the right care and treatment, the pain associated with arthritis can be controlled as well as eliminated.