18
June
2014

What you need to know about arthritis

All the necessary information about arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that affects nearly 50 million adults and about a half a million adults in the United States alone.  If you are an older adult and experience joint and bone pain, perhaps you should think about arthritis.  Do you know everything you need to know about it?  Read on to learn all the important information about arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition that affects nearly 50 million adults and about a half a million adults in the United States alone.  If you are an older adult and experience joint and bone pain, perhaps you should think about arthritis.  Do you know everything you need to know about it?  Read on to learn all the important information about arthritis.

What is it?

Arthritis is often referred to as a single disease, but it’s actually a term that refers to more than 100 medical conditions that make up arthritis.  The most common kind, osteoarthritis, is most common in older people, but can also occur in children and babies as well. What these diseases have in common are the fact that they all affect the joints, or where two or more bones meet each other.

What are the symptoms?

People suffering from osteoarthritis can suffer from pain, stiffness, inflammation, and damage to the joint cartilage.  Eventually, this can lead to weakness, instability, and eventually deformities of the joints.  Arthritis symptoms can inhibit a person from completely his or her daily tasks.

How is it diagnosed?

If a person is thought to have osteoarthritis, the doctor will normally ask questions about medical history and perform a physical exam.  The doctor will then most likely take an x-ray of the afflicted area to confirm whether or not the person has arthritis.

What is the treatment?

Unfortunately, osteoarthritis doesn’t have a cure, but there are many medications available that can help to relieve pain and to allow a person to return to his or her daily lives and daily activities.  The doctor may also prescribe physical therapy or occupational therapy.  If the pain is very extensive and a person becomes unable to deal with his or her daily activities, the doctor may consider surgery to fix the affected area.

Self-Care

Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are the keys to living well with osteoarthritis. Too little movement can lead to stiffness and weak joints. Losing one pound can take four pounds of pressure off your knee joints.  Overall fitness improves health in many ways. Strong muscles protect joints. An OA management plan also involves eating a nutritious diet, managing stress and depression, and getting a good balance of rest and activity each day.

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