Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the U.S., affecting more than 50 million Americans. It involves inflammation in one or more joints and can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, causing inflammation and pain. There are many different types of arthritis, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, and limited range of motion. These symptoms can vary depending on the type of arthritis and the severity of the condition.
This type of arthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down in a joint. Cartilage covers and acts as a cushion between bones in your joints. When it wears away, bones rub together, causing pain and inflammation. OA is the most common form of arthritis and affects more than 27 million people in the United States. It most often affects hands, knees, hips and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
RA causes inflammation in your joints and tissue around them, which leads to swelling and stiffness. The disease usually affects multiple joints at once — most often in the hands or feet — but it can also affect other parts of your body including your eyes or lungs. RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells by mistake. Women are three times more likely to get RA than men; it usually develops between ages 20-50 years old but can occur at any age after puberty.
Symptoms of arthritis include:
- Pain in and around the joints
- Stiffness upon waking in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time
- Difficulty getting up and down
- Swollen joints
- Joints that feel hot to the touch
Treatment for Arthritis
Treatment for arthritis depends on the type of arthritis, the severity of symptoms, and the overall health of the patient. The main goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and pain, improve joint function and mobility, and slow the progression of the disease.
Some common treatments for arthritis include:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents are also used to slow the progression of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical therapy can help improve joint mobility and strength, as well as reduce pain and inflammation.
Regular exercise, particularly low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling, can help maintain joint flexibility, increase muscle strength, and improve overall health.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints. This can include joint replacement surgery, arthroscopy, and joint fusion.
Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and practicing stress management can also be beneficial for individuals with arthritis, as it can help slow the progression of the disease and reduce symptoms.
There are several dietary supplements that have been studied for their potential benefits in managing the symptoms of arthritis, but it is important to note that the effectiveness of these supplements can vary depending on the type of arthritis, the severity of symptoms, and the individual.
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