Arthritis is a common term for conditions that affects connective tissues, tissues around the joints, and the joints themselves. To this day there are more than 1oo different types of arthritis that each contribute joint pain and stiffness depending on the type of arthritis. Uniquely, there is no cure for it, it can be managed and treated accordingly. Managing your arthritis can help reduce pain and even prevent or prolong disability. Treatments for arthritis include physical therapy, surgery, or medication.
Common Types Of Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis: One of the most common types of arthritis, which occurs the most in the hands, hips, and knees.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells in your body causing inflammation in affected areas.
- Gout: A common form of inflammatory arthritis that is very painful. It affects one joint at a time, often the big toe.
- Fibromyalgia: A condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress.
Obesity: People who are obese or overweight are more likely to get knee osteoarthritis than people that are not obese or overweight. The best thing to do in this scenario would be to partake in physical activities and healthy eating. Maintaining a healthy weight would decrease your risk of osteoarthritis.
Occupation/Job: Applied to physical jobs that require bending the knees or squatting, coupled with a workplace can attune to your body’s physical limitations and abilities, you should be okay.
Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis which can ultimately make the disease worse. Smoking makes it more difficult to be physically active, which plays an important part in decreasing risk. Refrain from smoking to lessen your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Age: With more years, the risk for arthritis increases.
Gender: Most types of arthritis are more commonly found in women but gout itself is more common in men.
Managing Your Arthritis
Practice self-management and learn of the skills to help you manage your arthritis the best way possible. Learning some of these strategies will help you feel more in control of your health. Talk to your health provider so they may help you furthermore improving your overall mood.
Staying active helps in a lot of cases when it comes down to your health. You can improve your functions, mood, and actively reduce pain. Any type of physical activity is better than no physical activity.
Manage your weight and try your best to eat healthy foods so you can take pressure off of joints that are struggling. Losing as little as 10 pounds can really improve function of your joints as well as relieve some pain.
Do your best to protect your joints and partake in activities that are easy on the joints. Some examples would be walking, swimming, or riding a bike. Make sure to always wear protective gear when needed to minimize any joint damage and reduce the chances of osteoarthritis.
Use hot and cold therapy to help relieve swelling and inflammation. Heat treatments include warm/hot showers or baths & using an electric blanket or heating pad to reduce comfort overnight. Cold treatments consist of ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables being used for quick relief in joints that have discomfort.