inflammation of one or more joints, effecting nearly 47 million people in the
United States. There are over a hundred types of arthritis that can be found in
both children and adults. The most common types of arthritis are
osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
- A degenerative joint disease
which breaks down cartilage in the joints
- A condition which spreads
throughout the body, causing pain in the muscles and soft tissues around
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- A disease which causes
inflammation in the lining of the joint
There are some key symptoms presented in the majority of arthritis patients.
The onsets of symptoms typically occur in the hands, knees, spine or hips.
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness - especially
after periods of rest or inactivity
- Swelling of the joints
- Redness and warmth in the
- Joint Tenderness
- Loss of Motion
- Muscle and tendon pain
- Difficulty or pain when
standing or walking
- Fluid retention and pressure
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms make an appointment with a health
care professional for a medical evaluation. In order to provide a diagnosis,
physicians will examine your joints for signs of inflammation or deformity.
They may also order specific joint fluid, blood or urine tests. X-rays may also
be ordered to assist with the diagnosis. In most cases, your family doctor will
be able to determine the cause of your arthritis.
However, if the reason is unclear, they may refer you to a Rheumatologist who
specializes in rheumatic conditions, including arthritis. Many conditions can
contribute to arthritis and these will need to be ruled out in order to provide
you with the appropriate care.
Although there is currently no cure for arthritis, patients can experience a significant improvement in
their symptoms, with timely and proper treatment. The specific form of
arthritis you have will determine which types of treatment options are most
suitable for your condition. Most options focus primarily on improving joint
mobility and reducing joint pain and stiffness.
- Physical and Occupational
- Helps to strengthen joints
and provide better mobility
- Regular Exercise
- Low impact aerobic and
strengthening exercises such as walking, swimming and stretching may
reduce pain and stiffness in the joints
- Heat and Cold Treatment
- Moist and dry heat helps to
alleviate pain. Cold packs may also be used to ease pain and reduce
- Weight Maintenance
- Additional weight adds more
stress to the knees and hips. Therefore, diet and weight loss may be
- Pain and Anti-inflammatory
- Ibuprofen, acetaminophen,
aspirin, corticosteroids, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine
- Joint Surgery
- Including fusion,
arthroscopy or joint replacement
- Joint Splints
- Used to brace the effected
joint in order to relieve stress and prevent further injury
- Causes the brain and spine
to naturally produce pain relieving chemicals
- Pain can be relieved by
increasing blood flow and producing additional warmth in the muscles
- Transcutaneous Electrical
Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- A TENS device is used to deliver
mild, electrical pulses to the nerve endings, which provides temporary
relief by blocking pain messages to the brain.
- Don't over-stress your body.
Make sure to incorporate times for rest throughout your day to minimize
your symptoms and to protect your joints from injury.
the proper care and treatment, arthritis can greatly impact you, your family
and your career. By starting today and making simple adjustments to your daily
routine, you can take control of your arthritis.