Read articles about Arthritis
Head over to Avaana answers for everything you need to know about Arthritis
Arthritis relates to a group of conditions that cause joint swelling and tenderness.
It may occur in one joint, or many joints, and makes the affected area painful and difficult to use. Dealing with the symptoms of arthritis can be stressful and frustrating.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, including:
Osteoarthritis (OA): A degenerative joint condition that affects the bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): A chronic inflammatory disorder that causes pain and swelling in the joints.
Gout: Small crystals form in and around the joint, causing pain and swelling.
Fibromyalgia: A group of symptoms associated with generalised pain, muscle stiffness and extreme fatigue. Fibromyalgia doesn’t specifically damage the joints. Pain exists due to extreme pain sensitivity in nerve receptors.
Reactive Arthritis: Joint pain and swelling occur secondary to an infection in another part of the body. The infection usually occurs a few weeks before joint pain begins.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): A form of arthritis where the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. It can impact joints, skin, the kidneys and more.
Each of these conditions affects the joints in different ways. That’s why the symptoms of arthritis vary between arthritic types.
It’s important to see a health professional if your joint pain:
They’ll consider all the arthritis causes and the best ways to help you feel better.
Paula Abdul, the powerhouse singer, dancer and choreographer, understands why early arthritis diagnosis is important.
You probably know Paula from her appearance on American Idol or from her mega hit song Opposites Attract (such a fun music video!). Her high-energy career began when she was 18 years old. But, at 43 Paula started slowing her routine when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment, and a little down time, allowed Paula to start performing again. However, 10 years later Paula started noticing joint pain when she was dancing. It was at this point that she was also diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
Here’s what she said during an interview with People magazine:
“I kept thinking, at least it wasn’t something in my head. There was a reason attached to what I was feeling. I just wish I had known [about the condition] earlier.”
Thanks to arthritis medication, Paula is still active and loving life. Her exercise routine looks a little different though:
“Walking is very underrated. I’ll put on my AirPods and listen to Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake — and just sing at the top of my lungs and swing to the beat.”
Unfortunately, there is no accepted ‘cure’ for arthritis – yet.
Researchers at Arthritis Australia are scurrying to better understand arthritic conditions. They desperately want to find a cure and help arthritis pain be a thing of the past. But, until then arthritis treatment focuses on limiting pain, swelling and inflammation. As well as preserving the joints.
At this point, you may be wondering how to prevent arthritis. Especially if arthritis runs in your family or you’ve had joint injuries in the past. (Previous joint injuries are a risk factor or OA)
Here are 5 simple ways you can help prevent arthritis.
The symptoms of arthritis look different for each person. The most common signs and symptoms include:
Arthritis treatments help with pain, swelling and stiffness. They also help to slow the disease so you can live an active life. Some forms of arthritis, such as gout and fibromyalgia, have specific arthritis medications.
Common arthritis treatments include:
Analgesics: Generalised pain relief that helps to block pain signals reaching the brain.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): Relieve pain and inflammation by blocking prostaglandins.
Corticosteroids: Mimic the action of cortisol in the body to reduce inflammation. They’re fast-acting and useful for short-term relief.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): Slows inflammation to decrease joint pain and disease progression.
Researchers are still trying to understand all the arthritis causes. It’s a lot of work as there are so many types of arthritis (100+). While some arthritis is caused by an infection, others don’t relate to this at all. Here’s a list of general factors that can increase your risk of arthritis.
Alkaline Diet – Did you know an acidic pH makes you more prone to inflammation and arthritis? Eating a balance of 80% alkaline to 20% acid foods helps to regulate the pH in your body. An alkaline diet includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant proteins daily. Aim for at least 2 pieces of fruit and 5 different veggies each day. Also minimise prepackaged foods, refined sugars, red meat and soft drinks.
Herbs offer a natural way to decrease pain and inflammation. They’re an excellent alternative to arthritis medications, which often have side effects.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective arthritis treatment. It triggers the release of feel-good chemicals that decrease pain and inflammation.
Massage optimises the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the joints, bones and muscles. This has a healing effect that also helps you relax.
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise for arthritis patients. It helps to keep the body flexible and releases happy endorphins into the bloodstream.
Muscle Rubs help blood and nutrients flow to the arthritic joint. This helps to decrease pain and improve joint flexibility. Look for muscle rubs that contain Arnica, Wintergreen and Peppermint. Some people find that alternating muscle rubs with cold packs is even more effective.
The following health experts can help with arthritis:
Here’s how to support someone with arthritis:
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
What are some natural arthritis treatments?
What are arthritis causes?
There are more than 100 types of arthritis, which means there are many arthritis causes. Doing the following may help you prevent arthritis.