The Aches and Pains of Arthritis

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LiveMD offers you information on Arthritis and tips on how to deal with the pain.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disorder, affecting close to 350 million people worldwide, that causes pain and inflammation in the joints and can affect any part of the body. There are over 100 different types of arthritis but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis can occur when there has been an injury to a joint, due to daily wear and tear of a joint, or because of an infection. It is very common in the elderly.

What are the symptoms of Arthritis?

The most common symptom of arthritis is localized pain in the area of the affected joint. Someone with this disease may also experience swelling, constant aching or pain with certain movement, inability to move the joint, difficulty walking, poor sleep quality, depression, tiredness, weakness and weight loss. These symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity of the disease and usually get worse with age and as the disease progresses.

How is Arthritis diagnosed?

This disease can be diagnosed by making a visit to see your doctor. Depending on the type of arthritis that the doctor suspects you have, they may run blood tests or perform x-rays, ultrasounds or MRI tests. A doctor will also inspect the affected joint and will talk to you about your family’s history of arthritis. It is a good idea to know your family’s disease history to determine if you are at a higher risk of developing this disorder.

How to ease Arthritis pain

To help ease the discomfort associated with arthritis, a doctor may prescribe pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid medications to help reduce the symptoms of this disease. There are also things that you can do at home that will offer relief from arthritis:

  1. Exercise and Stretch – A regular exercise routine can help to keep your weight in check and can help to keep joints moving and flexible. Low impact activities like swimming or walking combined with daily stretches can help to reduce stiffness and pain.
  2. Lose Weight – Carrying around extra weight can add strain to your joints, making arthritis pain worse. By attempting to manage your weight you can relieve joints, especially those in the lower body, of the added stress and make activities like walking much easier.
  3. Hot and Cold Therapy – Taking a warm bath or shower, using heating pads or applying ice to affected joints can help to reduce stiffness, decrease inflammation and relieve pain.
  4. Get a massage – Massaging the affected joints can alleviate pain and stiffness and can help to improve range of motion. Working with a physiotherapist or a massage therapist can help you manage your symptoms and reduce the progression of this disease.

Are you or a loved one suffering from arthritis? If you are seeking treatment options or have questions about this disease, contact one of our trained doctors or rheumatologists by visiting www.mylivemd.com today.

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February 17th, 2016 by