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What To Do About Arthritis by Joshua Zimerman

By at February 5, 2013 | 7:37 am | Print

As people age and wear and tear occurs to their body, they may begin to notice aches and pains they never had before.    When it is cold outside, their joints may begin to cause pain in places they never had pain in before, and their bones may begin to creek.  This is some of the symptoms associated with a chronic set of disorders, better known as arthritis.

Arthritis causes inflammation in the bodies’ joint lining and there are numerous types of arthritis that exist.  There are currently over one hundred types of arthritis.  Several of which are well known including osteoarthritis which is the “wear and tear” disorder and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune form of arthritis.

Arthritis is a disease that causes severe, aching joint pain.  It also causes severe stiffness, especially in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, which is well known for causing morning stiffness, making one sore for as much as one to three hours daily.  Unfortunately as a result of arthritis, one may tend to have decreased joint range of motion over time and in the case of some types of arthritis, certain people even develop joint deformity.

Arthritic individuals may also have other symptoms including sleep disturbances, chronic pain issues, numbness and tingling in their hands and feet, swelling of the joints, and certain psychological issues including anxiety and/or depression.

Osteoarthritis is a very common form of arthritis and most commonly affects the knees, hips, hands, spine, shoulder, or any other joint.  Osteoarthritis accounts for well over half of the arthritis cases that are currently diagnosed.  This “wear and tear” disorder can be either mild or debilitating depending on which stage an individual is in.

Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand most commonly affects knees, hips, hands, elbows, and the spine.  Severe cases of this disease can become very crippling and painful to the patient.   Unlike the common diagnosis of osteoarthritis, the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis requires thorough medical evaluations and lots of clinical studies including lab work and lots of diagnostic imaging.

Currently there is no cure for arthritis and the only thing that can be done about this debilitating condition is surgical invention in certain cases and medication to help manage symptoms associated with the arthritis.  Medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen and naprosyn are constantly used to help manage the arthritis induced inflammation.  Other medications such as analgesics are used to manage the pain associated with the arthritis.  Acetaminophen is a first line analgesic used in treating arthritic pain.  Narcotic pain medications are prescribed in severe cases.

Rheumatoid arthritis requires the use of certain medications in addition to the ones listed above, such as disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, which are often used first line to help delay the debilitation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  Biologic agents are also prescribed to rheumatoid arthritis patients as they help increase the strength of one’s immune system.

In terms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, physical therapy is frequently prescribed to help keep the muscles strong and to help prevent joint functioning loss.  Nutrition is also an important part of arthritis treatment, as with exercise and a proper diet, one can become more in control of one’s own health.With all of the advances in today’s medical sciences, arthritis is still a never ending and at often times debilitating disorder, however with proper management of the disease, one can still live a long, fulfilling life.

 

 

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  1. […] breathing problems, weight problems, curvature of the spine, bowed legs, joint stiffness, arthritis, lower back pain or numbness in the legs, and crowding of the teeth.  Surgery and other medical […]

  2. […] Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the joints. RA is one of the most serious and also common forms of arthritis, affecting more than one million Americans annually. RA is a chronic disease, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints which causes swelling that can result in joint deformity and bone erosion. This then leads to long-term joint damage, chronic pain, and loss of function for the sufferers of this disease. In addition, RA can also have an effect of some organs of the body such as the eyes, skin, blood vessels, and lungs. […]

  3. […] Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the joints. RA is one of the most serious and also common forms of arthritis, affecting more than one million Americans annually. RA is a chronic disease, mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints which causes swelling that can result in joint deformity and bone erosion. This then leads to long-term joint damage, chronic pain, and loss of function for the sufferers of this disease. In addition, RA can also have an effect of some organs of the body such as the eyes, skin, blood vessels, and lungs. […]


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