Arthritis is a disease that causes one or more joints to swell and become tender. The most frequent symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which often increase with age.
The two most common types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis- When the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones breaks away over time, it causes this condition. Although osteoarthritis may affect any joint, it is most typically seen in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.
- Rheumatoid arthritis- It is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease in which your immune system mistakenly assaults healthy cells in your body, resulting in painful swelling in the afflicted areas. It primarily affects the joints, which are frequently attacked at the same time.
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis are in the joints. Arthritis symptoms and signs differ based on the type:
- The range of motion is limited.
Here are some tips for keeping your joints in good health as you age:
- Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Extra pounds put a strain on weight-bearing joints including the hips and knees.
- Maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
High blood sugar can tighten the tissue that supports your joints and make them more vulnerable to stress.
- Exercise. At least 5 times a week. Even 30 minutes of exercise keeps joints limber and improves the muscles that support your knees and hips. Low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, or swimming should be prioritized.
- Stretch. Stretching gently can help you increase your range of motion and keep your joints limber. Simple stretches should be incorporated into your daily routine.
- Avoid getting hurt. A joint that has been wounded is more likely to develop arthritis than a joint that has never been hurt. When you’re playing sports, be sure you’re wearing protective gear.
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatories. These can include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, as well as medications prescribed by your doctor.
- Immunosuppressive drugs are those that suppress the immune system. These can be consumed or injected directly into the afflicted joint.
- Creams and ointments for external use. These treatments, which are commonly accessible over the counter, are applied to the skin to relieve joint aches and pains.
- Physical therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve range of motion in some circumstances.
- Surgery. Arthritic joints that have been significantly injured may need to be repaired or replaced. Hips and knees are the most typically replaced joints.
While there is no cure for arthritis, the appropriate therapy can help you live a happier, healthier life. You can make a number of lifestyle adjustments in addition to the therapies your doctor advises to help you manage your arthritis.