The aches and pains from a single or multiple joint may cause a lot of discomfort and affect your ability to perform the day to day tasks. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are strategies that you and your physician can use to reduce the intensity of arthritis pain, and possible slow down the progression of disease.
There are two main types of arthritis. The first one is Osteoporosis, often referred to as degenerative or wear and tear arthritis. It usually appears after the age of 40 or 50 and develops slowly. This type occurs when the cartilage deteriorates, causing the normally smooth surfaces to roughen up. It commonly occurs in the knees and hips, the fingers, the joints at the base of the thumb and the joint at the base of the big toe. It is also commonly found at the spine. Additional factors that contribute to the increase of developing cartilage damage include, lack of exercise, excessive weight and certain genetic conditions.
The second type of arthritis is the Rheumatoid arthritis, which usually begins at the age of 25 – 50. About 75 % of those with rheumatoid arthritis are women. Unlike the Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system primarily attacks joint linings (synovial membranes) which are supposed to protect and lubricate your joints. Your joints become inflamed, causing them to become warm, painful and swollen or stiff. If inflammation persists, certain chemicals and enzymes eat away the cartilage and bone, causing damage to tendons and ligaments around the joint.
Other less known types of arthritis include; Gout and pseudo-gout, inflammatory spine arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, systemic lupus erythematosus and infectious arthritis.
Millions of Americans live with some form of pain in their body. Research, however, has shown that people with positive, proactive attitude are likely to experience less pain and limitation from their arthritis than are those who are more negative. You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle measures such as; reducing stress, losing excess weight, taking time to relax, understanding your pain, knowing when to rest and using assistive devices.
There are different pain- relieving medications which are usually the mainstay of arthritis pain relief. Application of cold for occasional pain flare-ups and heat for joints that are sore but not inflamed. Topical creams, gels and sprays, which are non-prescriptive, produce a warm or cold sensation with varying active ingredients. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses electrodes to deliver a small electrical current to the joint area, which may reduce pain. Visco-supplimentation, is also a method that involves injecting a form of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in healthy joint fluids into the knee joint that are painful due to osteoporosis. These injections are given in a series over several weeks. Physical ad occupation therapy teaches you exercises to help to maximize your physical abilities with less pain, and psychological therapies, with the help of a psychologist or a psychiatrist, may be able to identify thought and behaviors that intensify your arthritis pain, thereby helping you make positive changes, such as adjusting your thoughts about your pain, improving your ability to cope with stress or setbacks, or helping you learn relaxation techniques.
President & Founder
Angels of Central Alabama
I am a son to my Father, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to my beloved earthly dad. I am a father to my three beautiful children, Sherodyne, Ryan & Rehema, a husband to my beautiful and beloved wife Florence.