Monday, June 17, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

By Jen Ridgeway

Millions of adults over 50 live with arthritis. The parts of the body that are most often affected include the hand, spine, hip, and knee. ​Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more of your joints. Symptoms of arthritis are joint  pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. 

The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that first targets the lining of joints.

Treatments vary depending on the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may  include: pain,stiffness,swelling,redness and/or decreased range of motion.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It can cause  wear-and-tear and damage to your joint's cartilage.  Enough damage can  result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted  movement. 

In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed  and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone  within the joint.

Risk factors for arthritis include: Family history, age,gender, previous joint  injury and obesity. 

Severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can keep you from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In some cases, joints may become twisted and deformed.

Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint  function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of  treatments, before you determine what works best for you.

The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include: Pain relievers,
anti-inflammatory drugs, creams/ointments,antirheumatic drugs,biologic  response modifiers and corticosteroids.

Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can  improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints.

In  some cases, splints or braces may be warranted. Surgery may consist of joint  repair, joint replacement and joint fusion,

In many cases, arthritis symptoms can be reduced with the following  measures: weight loss, exercise,heat/cold and assistive devices. Many people use alternative remedies for arthritis, but there is little reliable evidence to  support the use of many of these products. The most promising alternative  remedies for arthritis include: acupuncture, glucosamine, yoga and massage.


Leave a Comment