Arthritis is not well understood yet very common. Arthritis is a name for a group of conditions affecting the joints. These conditions cause damage to the joints which usually causes pain and stiffness. It can affect many parts of the body, young or old, all genders, and ethnicities. It is more common in women and occurs frequently as we age. We can live with arthritis. Understanding the type you may have, and how to manage, and treat it is the first step.
Fast Fact: 2 out of 3 people between the ages of 15 and 60 years are affected by arthritis.
There are over 100 forms of arthritis. Each affects you and your joints in different ways. Surprisingly there are some forms that even involves your eyes. The most common forms are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Arthritis affects each person differently, but the most common symptoms are:
- Stiffness or reduced joint movement
- Swelling of the joint
- Redness and warmth in a joint
- General symptoms, like tiredness, weight loss, or feeling unwell.
Not all pain is muscles and joints are caused by arthritis. It could be from an injury or using your muscles in an unusual way. Seek advice if the following occurs:
- Starts for no clear reason
- Pain lasts for more than a few days
- Comes on with swelling, redness, and warmth of your joints
What Can You Do?
The good news is that there are many simple things you can do to live well with arthritis:
- Visit your doctor to determine what arthritis is affecting you and learn about your treatment options
- stay active: keep your joints moving and your muscles strong
- learn ways to manage pain
- manage tiredness: learn to balance rest and your normal activities
- keep to a healthy weight: no diet that can cure arthritis, but a well-balanced diet is best for your general health
- look after and protect your joints by using equipment to make tasks easier