Arthritis is the inflammation (or stress) of a joint - resulting from disease, infection, injury, genetic defect, overuse (wear and tear) or an otherwise unknown cause. There is no known cure, but proper early treatment can help prevent further joint damage.
Do you have arthritis?
Arthritis at a Glance
Arthritis is not 1 single disease - there are in fact 100+ types of the condition.
Women are more likely to be affected by arthritis than men.
2/3 of arthritis sufferers (66%) are aged under 65.
Overweight people are 4-5 times more likely to develop arthritis.
There are 3 main types:
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form, is a degenerative disorder that causes the breakdown of cartilage in the joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints along with possible joint & bone damage.
Juvenile Arthritis (JA) includes a number of autoimmune & inflammatory conditions affecting children aged under 16.
How to treat Arthritis
There is no way to reverse cartilage loss or arthritis, however there are some options to help relieve the symptoms of the condition. Treatment of arthritis can include medications, injections, occupational & physical therapy, surgery & changes to your lifestyle (such as rest, exercise, healthy eating).
5 Treatments for Arthritis Pain
Here are some ways to make arthritis more bearable.
If you are one of the 1 in 5 of the adult population in the UK who has arthritis, you know just how challenging it is to sometimes carry out th simplest of activities. At times, the pain & stiffness can be overwhelming. However, there are some ways available to help manage the condition.
Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs can help reduce arthritis pain. The most common non-prescription/prescription painkillers are:
Amongst the wide range of prescription drugs that are available, are corticosteroids, which help reduce the inflammation. They can be injected, rubbed onto the skin or taken as pills.
Staying active, despite your arthritis pain, is another helpful way to help reduce the symptoms of the disease. Walking is a great form of exercise for people who have arthritis.
You can easily include more walking into your daily routine by trying some of the following suggestions:
Park your car a short distance from your place of work or any other destination you choose and walk the remainder of the distance.
If you have a dog, go on longer walks. If you don't have a dog, volunteer to walk a neighbour's dog.
Or walk around the supermarket more often when doing your shopping.
Other types of exercise that could be of benefit:
Low-impact aerobics, such as cycling, swimming, gardening or dancing.
Muscle-strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands
Balance exercises, such as tai chi
Physical therapy for arthritis sufferers can also help. Some of the popular types of treatments available include:
Heat and/or ice packs
Splints or orthotics
Alternative Healing methods that some arthritis sufferers find that works and helps are:
Biofeedback (Biofeedback is a non-invasive treatment the NHS may recommend for certain conditions).
Meditation or other relaxation techniques
For some arthritis sufferers, changing some of their personal habits can help reduce their arthritis pain. Depending on where the arthritis is, losing weight can also bring some relief. Other helpful activities that can help also include:
Ensuring you get plenty of sleep
Ensure you eat more fruit & vegetables
Ensure you eat more foods with Omega-3 fatty acids, such as: Salmon, Flaxseed, Soya beans & Walnuts