What is Arthritis, and what are the treatments available?

Arthritis is a common health complication that causes inflammation and pain in body joints that affects more than 50 million people around the world. Though arthritis is widely known and more common with increasing age, it is yet to be fully understood as it is a combination of joint diseases consisting of more than 100 types of related conditions. The health condition is a major concern for patients as there is no complete cure yet for the condition and it is one of the leading causes of disability. It is important for individuals suffering from Arthritis to understand its symptoms, as this is the first step to control and treat it. It is important to note that though Arthritis is common in people above 40 years old, it is also possible for children and middle-aged adults to suffer from the health condition. The following overview of Arthritis explores the symptoms, diagnosis, different types of Arthritis, and treatment among patients.

The common symptoms include swelling of the joints, pain, stiffness, and fatigue in areas of the hip, spine, and all body joints. Symptoms can be moderate, and at first they are evident, then the symptoms seem to disappear and then come back. After time the symptoms worsen, and the result is chronic pain that can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, and perform routine daily activities. Although it depends on the type of Arthritis one is diagnosed with; the symptoms are progressively the same as immune system dysfunction characterizes all. Factors that increase the development of Arthritis include infections, injury, diet, and lifestyle. Arthritis decreases the quality of life of an individual and can cause emotional distress, which is more likely to increase the chances of psychological instability.

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Some of the common types of Arthritis are; Degenerative Arthritis, Inflammatory Arthritis, Metabolic Arthritis, and Infectious Arthritis. Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) is a common type of Arthritis that is characterized by the wearing of joint bone ends, and over time, the bones wear off causing chronic pain, joint weakness, and stiffness. The causes of Osteoarthritis include excess weight, poor dieting, age, previous individual history, and family medical history. Inflammatory Arthritis occurs when the immune system generates internal inflammation to get rid of Arthritis. The inflammation can cause internal damage to body organs in cases of uncontrolled inflammation. The primary causes of inflammatory Arthritis include smoking, genetics, and poor lifestyle. Infectious Arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by bacteria or an infectious virus that infects the joints which triggers inflammatory Arthritis. Examples of infectious agents include a range of sexually transmitted diseases, food poisoning, and contamination.

As Arthritis has no medical cure, a series of control factors are applied to minimize development of the health condition. The management includes; resting, hot and cold therapies, physical activity, maintaining proper body weight, body workout for stronger muscles, use of assistive devices, using anti-inflammation medicine and painkillers. Various control factors could help Arthritis patients preserve joint function such as physical activities, healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight for your body type. It is advisable for Arthritis patients to consult a physician early for proper management of the health condition to prevent complicated symptoms. Controlling pain is the popular remedy for Arthritis using a combination of medications, medical support, health education, and physical therapy. Some forms of Arthritis affect multiple organs and can be difficult to control if left unmonitored. It is estimated that more than 45% of Arthritis patients are overweight, which is major a cause for alarm among people who are obese.

The impacts of Arthritis are significant, especially when one considers the number of people affected by the health condition and the expected increase of Arthritis victims. About 40% of Arthritis patients experience limitations in their daily activities as a result of the health condition, and those with chronic Arthritis report difficulty in completing at least one functional activity. These physical restrictions can lead to lost hours at work and the lack of financial stability in turn can cause difficulty in maintaining treatment for the condition. 60% of Arthritis patients also develop permanent disability and can minimize their ability to kneel, walk, and bend.

Physical therapy is a primary form of rehabilitation offered to arthritis patients to help them control pain and retain joint functionality. Physical therapy is designed to help patients understand the appropriate exercises for mobility, proper body posture during rest, and strategies to complete daily activities. Therapists also recommend suitable devices that help patients perform daily activities such as driving, bathing, dressing, and work. The benefits of physical therapy include the ability to preserve joint functionality, maintain physical fitness, and providing education for the treatment of Arthritis. Physical therapy modalities are known to improve the quality of life of Arthritis patients as they contribute to improving motion exercising which preserves joint functionality.

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What our patients say

I have been coming to RT Physical Therapy & Rehab for over a year and highly recommend this office!!! On 3 separate occasions, during the year, I came to be treated for neck injury, heel spur and vertigo/dizziness. Each time Reuven & his staff have taken great care of me and have shown me exercises to do when I'm home to minimize pain and/or to eventually fix my problem.

I came to RT for physical therapy with a horrible pain in my neck that radiated all the way down my arm. Couldn't drive or do anything. After only 3 sessions Reuven transformed me back to my active self. Highly recommend this office!! Staff is also super professional!!!

I went to Reuven for knee pain. I have never met a more caring and dedicating health care provider in my life! He knew exactly what I had to do to reduce the pain in my knee and helped me get back to playing sports without pain. The whole staff was very nice and helpful. I would 100% return here the next time I need physical therapy.