Reducing Your Risk of Arthritis
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints (areas where your bones meet and move). Arthritis usually involves inflammation or degeneration (breakdown) of your joints. These changes can cause pain when you use the joint.
Arthritis is most common in the following areas of the body:
- Lower back.
What are the parts of a joint?
Joints get cushioned and supported by soft tissues that prevent your bones from rubbing against each other. A connective tissue called articular cartilage plays a key role. It helps your joints move smoothly without friction or pain.
Some joints have a synovial membrane, a padded pocket of fluid that lubricates the joints. Many joints, such as your knees, get supported by tendons and ligaments. Tendons connect muscles to your bones, while ligaments connect bones to other bones.
There is no single cause of all types of arthritis. The cause or causes vary according to the type or form of arthritis.
Possible causes may include:
- injury, leading to degenerative arthritis
- abnormal metabolism, leading to gout and pseudogout
- inheritance, such as in osteoarthritis
- infections, such as in the arthritis of Lyme disease
- immune system dysfunction, such as in RA and SL
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Decreased range of motion
Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life.
A range of medications and lifestyle strategies can help achieve this and protect joints from further damage.
Treatment might involve
- non-pharmacologic therapies
- physical or occupational therapy
- splints or joint assistive aids
- patient education and support
- weight loss
- surgery, including joint replacement
PREVENTION OF ARTHRITIS
- Stay at a healthy weight. Extra pounds put pressure on weight-bearing joints like hips and knees
- Control your blood sugar
- Avoid injury
- Quit smoking
- Eat fish twice a week
- Get routine preventive care
Arthritis is known to impact function, activities of daily living and quality of life, but with patient-centred care and lifestyle modification (diets, exercising, weight loss) symptoms can be alleviated. In addition, working with experts like a physiotherapist in planning an exercise program and daily routine that is tailored to your needs has proven to be important for a successful outcome in the management of arthritis.
For more details, appointments and specific information, contact PCA at 08130280496.