Arthritis is a well-known condition, but despite most people's familiarity with the disease, it can be largely misunderstood. As the leading cause of disability in the United States, arthritis is a more serious issue than just stiff joints.
Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints, which is why joint pain is the major indicator of arthritis. Because people of any age can suffer from this disease, it is important to understand the causes and symptoms of arthritis, as well as possible treatments.
Types of Arthritis
Believe it or not, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. But regardless of the type, arthritis is a rheumatic disease, meaning it affects the joints and tendons. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Though your symptoms may sound similar to those of someone you know, the causes of your joint pain may be different.
The usual arthritis symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the joints, decreased range of motion, and visible redness and swelling around the joints. In osteoarthritis, these symptoms are the result of the wearing down of the cartilage that usually cushions the joints, which causes the bones to rub together.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different in that the body’s immune system actually starts to attack the joints rather than protecting them from inflammation. Both types of arthritis result in chronic joint pain and restricted movement, especially in the fingers or wrists.
Joint pain can be the result of normal wear and tear on the body, your genetic background or a previous injury. Stiff, painful joints that negatively affect your ability to move can significantly impact your quality of life.
Early detection and treatment of arthritis is the key to preventing irreparable, lifelong joint damage. Just because you have been diagnosed with arthritis does not mean that you're destined for a life of chronic joint pain.
Fighting Joint Pain
To fight joint pain, make sure you're leading a healthy lifestyle that consists of regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy weight. Consistently rest and apply ice to inflamed areas. If you experience chronic, debilitating joint pain, speak to your healthcare provider about options for physical therapy, medication or even surgery. You do not have to live with the symptoms of arthritis.
Get Arthritis Pain Relief Today
If you suffer from arthritis in the hands or wrists and are looking for help in the Dallas, TX area, contact Dr. Pedro Loredo to discover how he can help relieve your joint pain.