Arthritis affects millions of people throughout the world, yet most people understand very little about this condition. For instance, arthritis isn’t a single disease. It’s a broad term that refers to over 100 different conditions, affecting people of both genders, every age group, and every ethnicity. Affecting over 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the U.S. alone, it’s the most common cause of disability in our society.
The Causes and Treatment of Arthritis
While there are many different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is most commonly experienced. This is a condition in which the cartilage erodes in the joints, causing the bones to rub together. As the condition endures, joint pain will worsen and the individual will experience swelling and a feeling of stiffness in the area. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include age, family history, obesity, and a history of injuries.
Mild or moderate osteoarthritis can be treated in a number of ways. While physical activity is important, individuals with osteoarthritis should balance out exercise with rest. Overdoing it may increase symptoms. Building muscle can help reduce the joint pain by adding padding around the joints.
Extreme hot and cold can be used as a therapy for relieving arthritis Johnson City TN. Also, non-prescription pain relievers can help with the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. For patients looking for other ways to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, they may choose to use walkers and other devices to help them move about and limit the stress they put on their joints. Similarly, reducing repetitive motions can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Preventing Arthritis from Developing
While there is no guarantee that you won’t develop arthritis later in life, there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it developing. One way to limit your risk of developing arthritis is by eating more fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in many types of fish work to reduce inflammation in the body. A study published by Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that women lowered their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by eating fish regularly. Sardines, salmon, mackerel, and trout are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Another way to reduce your risk of developing arthritis is by losing weight. If you’re overweight, the impact on your knee joints, as you walk, is increased. Over time, this will cause your cartilage to degrade more quickly. A person just 10 pounds overweight increases the force on each knee by up to 60 pounds per step.
Similarly, exercise can be a great benefit in helping to prevent arthritis. In addition to helping you manage your weight, increased physical activity will help you build more muscle. As muscles form around the joints, the extra padding will reduce wear and tear on the cartilage.
Preventing arthritis isn’t a sure thing, but there are things you can do to limit the likelihood of developing arthritis. For instance, avoiding injuries and protecting your joints at work and during physical activity can help you stay fit and healthy. The best thing you can do for yourself, however, is to exercise and eat right, so your body will build up the muscle it needs to protect itself.