Arthritis – The Basics

Many people use the word arthritis in a general way to describe aching in the bones and joints. In fact, arthritis is a disease that has over 100 various types. While arthritis is more commonly prevalent in older individuals, it has been known to affect anyone, including children. This particular type of arthritis is named Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

While arthritis can be genetic and thus hereditary, most types of arthritis are not. Then there are types of arthritis that fall somewhere in the middle. This means that they have a high proclivity to be passed down from generation to generation, or a very weak proclivity.

How do you know if you have arthritis? The most common symptom will be a pain and stiffness of a joint or joints. This could be accompanied with swelling and redness in the area and difficulty extending and moving this joint. Symptoms can vary depending on which form of arthritis is afflicting you but those listed above seem common throughout arthritis types.

What Causes Arthritis?
The exact cause of arthritis has yet to be pinpointed, but medical professionals have identified factors that may lead to arthritis. Stress or repetitive motion on a particular joint due to a sport or activity in your professional can lead to arthritis. An injury to a joint can also lead to arthritis. Being obese which puts added stress on certain joints also may be a factor. Recent studies even point to gout being another cause of arthritis. At the same time, evidence does not show that individuals who exercise frequently have a greater chance of developing arthritis. So while much is known, there is just as much that is not known. Researchers are constantly seeking out new information on the causes of arthritis, hoping they will lead to a cure.

Treating Arthritis
There is no known cure for arthritis, but there are many different treatments available. What treatment steps you take may depend on what type of arthritis you have and the severity level. Treatments are tailored to specific symptoms and how painful the arthritis is. Once your doctor has identified your specific type of arthritis you can being tailoring a treatment plan specifically for you.

Regardless of the type of arthritis that you are suffering from, early detection and treatment can greatly impact your life. By detecting arthritis early and starting a treatment plan, you can reduce the amount of future damage to the joint.

Your treatment plan will start with your doctor. Your doctor may also recommend an arthritis specialist, a physiotherapist, and other specialists to tailor your treatment plan. Using a variety of specialists will ensure you are getting a multi-pronged approach.

All forms of arthritis will have redness and swelling of the afflicted joint. Thus, the first step of treating arthritis symptoms is to reduce this swelling and keep inflammation at bay. The methods used to accomplish this can range from medicine to physical therapy to herbal remedies.

Some individuals who suffer from extreme arthritis may actually be rendered immobile because their joints are so painful. These sufferers may opt for surgical treatments to these joints. Hip, knee, shoulder, and any other joints can be replaced through surgery.

While arthritis can affect the old and young alike, the consequences can not only be painful, but severely hinder daily activities. While the exact causes of arthritis are not known, we can identify risk factors. Until we pinpoint the exact cause, we cannot prevent arthritis from occurring. Most likely, a cure will not be found until the cause is also found. That being said, there are a host of treatments available to arthritis sufferers to lessen their symptoms and reclaim their lives.