Tips For Helping Your Loved Ones Manage And Reduce The Risk Of Arthritis
Swollen, stiff and painful joints are common symptoms of arthritis, or joint disease. There are several different types of arthritis and related conditions that can also affect connective tissues and organs, including the eyes, heart, lungs and skin.
In the UK alone, around 10 million people will seek help for arthritis pain each year, a large proportion of which will be over the age of 60.
Thick, knobby fingers may reveal surface signs of arthritis. However deeper down in the joints where the bones connect is where arthritis can wield debilitating damage.
But, how can you prevent getting this debilitating disease?
In this article, we take a look at the most common types of arthritis and if there are any ways in which you can prevent it.
Common Types Of Arthritis
Whilst the causes of many types of arthritis are still unknown, a number of factors can increase your likelihood of contracting the illness. Age is one such factor, mainly due to the more wear and tear their joints have endured.
The symptoms of arthritis can come and go, or be steadily persistent with a range of pain and severity. There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common types include:
This is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage, or protective connective tissue on the ends of bones deteriorates, causing friction in all joint movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term autoimmune condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It mainly occurs when a person’s immune system attacks healthy body tissues, eroding the lining of joints. This can often cause painful inflammation.
Psoriatic is an inflammatory form of arthritis that develops in some people with the skin condition, psoriasis. It typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. People with psoriatic arthritis often experience swelling in their hands, knees, ankles and feet, with fingers and toes sometimes swelling to a sausage shape.
How To Prevent Arthritis
So, how can you prevent yourself from getting arthritis?
The short answer: you can’t.
The truth is, there is no guaranteed way to prevent arthritis. However, while some forms of this disease cannot be prevented, many types can be slowed down by making certain lifestyle changes.
A thorough evaluation, early diagnosis and treatment plan will significantly help you to identify and manage your arthritis early. These simple lifestyle and home-care tips can also help you to manage your arthritis as you get older.
- Maintaining a healthy weight through a good diet and regular exercise
- Try to avoid repetitive movements that can cause damage to your joints, ligaments and cartilage
- Avoid smoking, which has been found to heighten the risk of arthritis
- Boost and protect your immune system
Home Care Tips
- Over the counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory medicines
- Icing and heating therapies to help soothe pain
- The correct amount of rest and recovery
- Strengthening the muscles around the affected areas
- Healthy diet, which includes anti-inflammatory foods such as greens, leafy vegetables and fatty fish
An arthritis diagnosis can be very difficult to take. To help, a strong support system of family and professional caregivers can help to treat and manage this illness.