What is arthritis? We all know that it is painful. Arthritis is very common in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. It is also more common in women than men and in people who are overweight.
Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.
People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis.
Sixty percent of US adults with arthritis are of working age (18 to 64 years). It can limit the type of work they can do or stop them from working at all. 8 million working-age adults report that their ability to work is limited because of their arthritis.
People with arthritis may have a hard time doing basic tasks like climbing stairs or even typing on a computer.
What Is Arthritis: Symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your signs and symptoms may include:
Decreased range of motion
What Causes Arthritis?
Our joints have cartilage which is a tissue that is firm but flexible. It protects your joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created when you move and put stress on them. A reduction in cartilage causes some forms of arthritis.
Sometimes, arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder. This occurs when your body's immune system attacks your tissues and damages the cartilage in your joints.
The causes of arthritis depend on the form of arthritis.
injury (leading to osteoarthritis),
metabolic abnormalities (such as gout and pseudogout),
the direct and indirect effect of infections (bacterial and viral),
and a misdirected immune system with autoimmunity (such as in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus).
Types Of Arthritis
Treatments for Arthritis
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you.
Treatments for arthritis focus on relieving symptoms and relieving joint function for you, and ultimately to improve or maintain your quality of life.
Some treatments are:
physical or occupational therapy
support and education for the patient
Maintain a healthy weight
surgery, and sometimes joint replacement
Physical Therapy For Arthritis
Your physical therapist can help create an exercise and activity plan that will help keep your joints flexible.
Some exercises you can try are:
Stretching to help improve your flexibility, reduce stiffness and increase your range of motion
Tai chi and yoga
Products You Can Use
Do you need help in managing arthritis using physical therapy? Contact us here for a complimentary consult.