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The Truth About Arthritis

Aug 17, 2007
Arthritis means inflammation of the joint or joints and there are over one hundred forms or conditions related to it. When untreated, it often results in irreversible damage. Early detection and treatment is very important.

The two common types of arthritis are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and caused by different reasons but have similar symptoms. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have very similar symptoms. These include, pain, fatigue, weakness, stiffness and inflamed tissue lumps. Most often, the arthritis develops symmetrically. This means that it affects the joints on both sides of the body at the same time.

Osteoarthritis
Joints that are misused or overused can result in osteoarthritis. The bones rub together because the cartilage, cushioning the joint, breaks down. Knees are the most common place for this to happen but it also occurs in the hips, hands and spine. Once it is advanced and a lot of cartilage is lost, people feel pain. A history of joint damage caused by chronic strain or injuries, run a far greater risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
With rheumatoid arthritis, the body's own immune system attacks the joint tissue. The most common place to start is the hands, feet and wrists. It advances to hips, shoulders and elbows. People are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if a parent or sibling had it.

Although arthritis seems to be more common in people over 45, it can and does affect every age group. Arthritis affects both men and women but osteoarthritis affects a slightly higher percentage of women and rheumatoid arthritis affects a slightly higher percentage of men.

Weight and health play a large role in getting osteoarthritis. Overweight people often develop arthritis in the knees after reaching 45. By losing weight, it can significantly reduce the odds along with activity and exercise.

Relief Aids
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. Four of the best relief aids are:
A positive attitude: Remaining and thinking positive is shown to affect peoples well being and health.
Gentle exercise: Doing exercises that do not put a lot of pressure on your joints can be beneficial. Water aerobics is one way of keeping the joints moving.
Nutrition: Eating properly and good nutritional habits help fight off arthritis and other diseases.
Rest: Research shows that it is beneficial for people to get adequate rest.

There are medications that can help control the pain, pain relief strategies and replacement alternatives and other useful treatments.

For anyone that thinks he or she may have arthritis, consult a doctor. Early diagnosis to determine if you do have arthritis is extremely important. As mentioned before, early detection of arthritis and the type, the better off you are. Other things could cause your symptoms, such as a virus or tendonitis and potentially worsen. Do not diagnose yourself. Seek medical advice.
About the Author
Be healthy and stay healthy. Learn more about Arthritis and other health-related subjects at Healthy Living Information
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