Arthritis is a condition that affects the quality of life for more than 50 million Americans. Although the condition is commonly misunderstood as simply experiencing “aches and pains” that are often associated with growing older, the reality of arthritis is actually much more complex, and is often caused by one of more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect musculoskeletal health. Arthritis doesn’t discriminate, either. Approximately two-thirds of affected Americans are under the age of 65, and from all walks of life.
The three most common forms of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis: The most common, and is often associated with obesity, injury, and age. This condition is caused from the breakdown of joint cartilage, and is progressive.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder in which the membranes lining the joint become inflamed.
- Juvenile Arthritis: Juvenile arthritis is a term that is used to describe both autoimmune and inflammatory conditions that strike children ages 16 and younger.
There are a number of ways to help manage your arthritis symptoms. Understanding your treatment options is very important, so have a chat with your doctor to explore what might work for you. These few simple tips can help your overall health, and may decrease arthritis symptoms.
- Obesity can often increase the severity of the symptoms of arthritis. Losing weight can reduce the pressure that is placed upon the affected joints.
- Adequate exercise can increase the flexibility of your joints.
- The use of items such as canes and walkers can assist you in relieving painful pressure from your joints.
- Maintain a healthy diet and be conscious of foods that may aggravate your symptoms. Saturated fats, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates are said to increase inflammation, while certain vitamins, spices like garlic and turmeric, and antioxidants are said to help reduce inflammation.
Although some individuals find that they can control their symptoms with the use of oral medications, the side effects of these drugs can be worse than the pain itself. Additionally, many people choose to use topical pain relievers either alone, or in conjunction with oral medications to obtain maximum arthritis pain relief. The use of the right topical aid can be very beneficial in both obtaining and maintaining arthritis pain relief, and the lack of side effects makes this option even more attractive.