Arthritis is a group of painful and degenerative conditions marked by inflammation in the joints that causes stiffness and pain. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear over the years. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the joints as if they were foreign tissues. Because of this, rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease.
Treatment may include resting the joint and alternating between applying ice and heat. Weight loss and exercise may also be useful. Recommended medications may depend on the form of arthritis. These may include pain medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen). In some circumstances, a joint replacement may be useful.
Signs and symptoms
Pain, which can vary in severity, is a common symptom in virtually all types of arthritis. Other symptoms include swelling, joint stiffness and aching around the joint(s). Arthritic disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can affect other organs in the body, leading to a variety of symptoms. Some of them are Weight loss, poor sleep, tenderness and muscle aches etc.
Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity.
- Keep your joints moving. Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.
- Use good posture. A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.
- Know your limits. Balance activity and rest, and don't overdo.
- Quit smoking. Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.
- Manage weight. Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.
Journal of Pain Management and Therapy
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