Arthritis sufferers can experience joint pain and stiffness, swelling and redness around the affected area and a loss of mobility. The pain can start as soon as you wake up in the morning and get worse throughout the day. For many people, life with this debilitating disease is extremely limited. But where does it come from and what can you do if you suffer from arthritis?
Causes of Arthritis
The causes of arthritis depend on which of the two main types you have. Osteoarthritis appears when the cartilage in your joints breaks down because of injury, age, or even infection. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack the joint linings. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown, it is believed to be genetic.
There are also diseases that cause arthritis, such as lupus and psoriasis, and other risk factors, including age, gender, obesity and prior injury. Women are more likely to suffer from arthritis.
Treatment for Arthritis
There is no known cure for arthritis. However, there are treatment options that can help maintain your quality of life and cope with (or reduce) the pain.
- Physical therapy is a good option for all arthritis sufferers. A therapist can teach you exercises to perform at home that help ease the pain and maintain mobility.
- Lifestyle changes can also help manage the pain, including weight control and eating healthily. Getting sufficient vitamins, minerals and essential oils is vital.
- Orthopedic braces, corticosteroid injections and both over-the-counter and prescription medications can all help ease the pain caused by arthritis. You should discuss these options with a medical professional before embarking on any course of treatment.
- Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers can benefit from medications used to suppress the immune system. Since your immune system is responsible for being too enthusiastic and attacking your joints, suppressing it slows down the attack and helps treat the pain.
Although medications, diet and exercise, and physical therapy can help some people, they are not always successful. In some cases, surgery to replace the affected joints may be necessary..
As mentioned above, there is no real solution for arthritis. However, understanding what causes the condition and being aware of treatment options is the first step to a better quality of life and less pain. Talk to your doctor or health professional and find a program that works for you!