Get to know arthritis by the numbers. You’ll be surprised to find out that arthritis is all around us, and its impact on individuals around the world is more serious than most people realize. According to the Arthritis Foundation, Arthritis is the nation’s Number one cause of disability, affecting approximately 350 million people worldwide. Arthritis is defined as the condition that causes pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis manifests itself in several painful, limiting ways, and attacks all kinds of patients, even young children and babies. The most common joints affected by arthritis are the hands, spine, knees, and hips.
Technically, pain is considered chronic when it lasts three to six months or longer, but arthritis pain can last a lifetime. The symptoms of arthritis depend on the type that you have and the location. While there are multiple types of arthritis, the two main types are Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Symptoms of arthritis include:
· Joint pain and tenderness
· Inflammation in and around the joints
· Restricted movement of the joints
· Warm, red skin over the affected joint
There are two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear. This type of arthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This reduced cartilage that would normally act as padding, makes movement more difficult than usual, leading to pain and stiffness. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments must compensate and work harder. This can cause swelling and the formation of bony spurs, called osteophytes. Severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone rubbing on bone, altering the shape of the joint and forcing the bones out of their normal position.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. The outer covering of the joint called the synovium is the first place that becomes affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint’s shape, and may cause the bone and cartilage to break down. Unfortunately, people with rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs in their body.
Tips for Surviving and Relieving Arthritis Pain:
2. Use hot and cold therapy
3. Eat a healthy diet
4. Manage your weight
5. Find Support online
6. Avoid Stress
If you’re living with chronic pain due to arthritis or think you may be, it could be time to take a closer look at your symptoms and explore treatment options. Call Watauga Orthopedics at (423) 282-9011 to request an appointment.