One in every 5 adults is dealing with arthritis. This pain and stiffness can come in over 100 types. It is all about your joints which is where the bones connect. Think of your knees, hips, and wrists. Joint areas feel swollen, stiff, and tender, making moving hard and even everyday tasks become difficult.
The cause of arthritis can be related to age, because the older we get, the more worn down our joints become. Gender plays a role, as this condition is more common in women. Excess weight bears trouble to the joints. Damage to the joints from injuries can also cause arthritis. For example, an ACL tear to the knee can progress the onset of arthritis to that area much more quickly.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis has to do with cartilage. This is the cushion at the end of our bones, but it does wear away over time. Then the bone on bone rubbing occurs, causing pain to the area. It does usually happen with age, and it does usually happen post injury (that ACL tear).
Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue. This is more common in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, ankles, and knees. Sometimes it is even seen as a bump under the skin (called a nodule).
Arthritis can be debilitating. Even walking upstairs, typing, holding up a book, washing dishes, or folding clothes, can really be painful. Sitting and standing with the knees also becomes a challenge.
Did you know that gout is also a form of arthritis?? Uric acid builds up and deposits form in the joints. This can cause swelling, redness, and soreness. It can occur in the foot, ankle, heel, elbow, fingers, or wrist. Gout can be controlled through weight loss, cutting out meats and fish in your diet that have purines, and with medication.
Exercise is the key. Being active helps keep those joints in good health, with less pain, and this will help you move better. Having extra weight on your joints would only add to the problem, so keeping a healthy weight is important. Heat would be the immediate remedy to alleviate the discomfort, so a heating pad, sitting in a sauna or hot tub, might subside the current pain. Consistent massages can also be a tool to keep pain away. Blood starts to circulate, and the hormone serotonin is said to be released, which just help you overfall feel better. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation. Ginger and turmeric are good anti-inflammatories. These can be ingested such as in the form of tea or there are essential oils in these forms. Orange oil is another oil that is said to decrease pain, but this would be in the form of aromatherapy.
Every day tasks shouldn’t have to be painful. Your body is meant to feel good. Maybe some of our parts have an expiration date, but at least we can prolong it and offset further severity.