Affecting nearly half of American adults older than 65, arthritis makes it difficult for people to complete even the smallest of physical tasks. Arthritis is an umbrella term that groups together more than 100 rheumatic diseases. As the most common cause of disability among American adults, it's crucial that you are aware of its symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.
There are two common diseases that fall under arthritis you should be aware of: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by the inflammation of membranes surrounding joints. This disease is characterized by pain, stiffness, warmth, swelling and joint damage. Osteoarthritis is a progressive degenerative disease in which joint cartilage continually breaks down. This is the most common form of arthritis and is associated with age, obesity and a history of joint injury.
If you have severe joint, muscle or bone pain that persists for more than a few days, consider visiting your physician. Rheumatic diseases can be difficult to diagnosis and are not always identified immediately. This may mean multiple doctor visits and several different treatment options. Arthritis is commonly seen in those also suffering from heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
It has been proven that aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises have helped reduce pain and discomfort in those suffering from arthritis. Some suggested exercises are walking, biking and swimming. It has also been found that weight loss can improve arthritis limitations. A loss of as little as 10 to 12 pounds can provide relief to your arthritis. Physicians also suggest protecting your joints in order to limit the trauma they absorb. Other treatments include supplements and herbs, heat therapy, massages, acupuncture, meditation, surgery and some medications.
Arthritis is a painful and very common disease. It is crucial to create preventative habits or adhere to proven treatments in order to mitigate this uncomfortable condition.