Arthritis. It’s a common complaint, and you probably know that it means painful joints. But what is arthritis, exactly?
The word arthritis means “joint inflammation.” Our bodies produce inflammation in reaction to disease or injury, and when you suffer from arthritis, areas in and around affected joints become inflamed. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty in moving.
Types of Arthritis
According to WebMD, there are more than 100 types of arthritis. Some of the most common include:
- Osteoarthritis – this is the most common type of arthritis, and it occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of bones wears gradually away. Osteoarthritis typically worsens with age.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – this is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system turns on itself, causing joint inflammation
- Gout – this is a condition often affecting the knees, wrists, and big toes. It is caused by the body’s inability to eliminate excess uric acid. This acid builds up, forming painful crystals within joints.
Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis symptoms include all types of joint pain. This pain may be accompanied by swelling, stiffness, tenderness, warmth or redness. Arthritis can also cause a reduced range of motion in the affected joints.
If you suffer from arthritis, you will want to visit your doctor to formulate a treatment plan that can offer you maximum relief from your symptoms. There are many products on the market today that can help you live with less arthritis pain.
If arthritis in your knees is keeping you up at night, an arthritis knee sleeve may be the relief you’re looking for. It provides gentle pressure to your knees, protecting them and keeping them in proper alignment while you sleep.
Do your feet ache during long days filled with standing? Orthotic inserts or insoles may benefit you. They include inserts specially-made to absorb impact, giving you more energy and more comfort.
There are many shoes that are designed to ease the pain of arthritic feet. Choose shoes that offer support, and try several styles to find one that feels good on your feet.
The most common form of arthritis in the US is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is age-related, yet there are steps you can take to reduce its symptoms. To stay free of major arthritis pain, try:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Each pound of body weight adds four pounds of stress to the knees. If you’re overweight, make plans to eat healthier.
- Exercising. Not only does exercise help you maintain your weight, it also helps you strengthen muscles. Since muscles support your joints, strong muscles lead to less joint pain and stiffness.
- Protecting your joints. Products like warming knee supports can help you protect vulnerable joints. By warming the knee and its joints and tissues, the support increases circulation and leads to greater movement with less discomfort.
Don’t let the pain, stiffness, and difficulty in moving prevent you from enjoying daily living. See a doctor for specific treatment plans for your joints.