As one of the most prevalent diseases in America, arthritis affects millions of people. At least half of the people aged 65 and above are afflicted by arthritis! Despite its prevalence, arthritis is commonly thought of as joints that are rigid and cause pain. However, there are many different kinds of arthritis and consequently, many types of arthritis signs and treatments. Arthritis can affect almost any joint in the body, causing pain, swelling, or even joint damage. Read on to recognize these symptoms and treat them effectively.
Three Common Types of Arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most frequent form of arthritis observed in seniors. Osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage that has started to wear away, leaving bones to chafe against one another without any padding in-between. This commonly occurs in the hands, hips, and knees. Symptoms of osteoarthritis can manifest in joint stiffness and mild pain during daily activities. If it goes untreated, osteoarthritis may cause problems with mobility and may even result in physical disability.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system wrongly targets and destroys the lining of a joint. This leads to inflammation in the joints which can result in pain, swelling, and stiffness. This can occur in almost every joint and this condition may damage organs too.
- Gout: Gout occurs when uric acid crystallizes in joint spaces or connective tissue. These crystal deposits often affect the big toe by causing swelling or stiffness. Gout may result from eating certain foods like shellfish or liver. It may also be due to consuming alcohol or being overweight. Unfortunately, gout is known as one of the most painful types of arthritis, which can be difficult to manage without professional help.
Treating Arthritis through Diet
Having a balanced and healthy diet is key to preventing arthritis. Fatty fish like salmon contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce swelling through their anti-inflammatory effects. Garlic is also another anti-inflammatory food that can help strengthen the immune system. Other foods that reduce the intensity of the symptoms of arthritis include broccoli, walnuts, and ginger. These can be easily incorporated into juices and salads to make your next meal healthier and tastier!
Treating Arthritis through Exercise
While it is important to rest your joints properly, exercise is also necessary to deal with the symptoms of arthritis. Physical activities like walking or swimming should be done daily. This can help to reduce pain and strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints. Some exercises you can consider are range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, or aerobic exercises. Range-of-motion exercises involve a lot of stretching to reduce stiffness and maintain flexibility. Strengthening exercises build muscles that can assist in supporting and protecting your joints. Aerobic exercises may decrease swelling while contributing to overall wellness. Join an exercise class to make your daily workout fun and engaging.
Arthritis is often chronic, which can sound scary to many. However, by recognizing it early and taking preventive measures, you can treat arthritis by managing its symptoms. This can reduce the impact that arthritis has on your life!