There are several common types of arthritis, with more than 10 million people in the UK suffering from some form of the condition. However, it is not just a health issue for older people, around 12,000 children under the age of 16 also suffer from some form of juvenile arthritis.
It’s common for most people to experience aches and pains from time to time, especially if you exercise regularly or overstretch but many people won’t experience persistent or severe symptoms.
Arthritis refers to more than 100 different types of diseases which all cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints. All arthritis conditions involve some form of joint pain. However, the seriousness, duration and degree of the joint pain vary from one type of arthritis to another. There are some familiar symptoms that can be linked to the most common types of arthritis, which include, early morning joint stiffness, joint pain, tiredness, a general feeling of being unwell and weight loss.
The most common types of arthritis include, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, which is where the joint cartilage is destroyed. This causes the joint to not move as smoothly as it should and can make movement of affected joints difficult and painful. It is sometimes referred to as arthrosis or osteoarthrosis. In other cases of osteoarthritis, the patient experiences bony outgrowth, also known as bone spurs, as well as loss of cartilage particles. The intensity of pain from osteoarthritis can vary from person to person from mild to severe. Osteoarthritis affects mostly people aged 40 plus, however it can be evident in younger people too. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, especially if it has been badly injured, but is most common in the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis in the UK. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis where inflammation of the joints occurs for no particular reason. Inflammatory arthritis is mostly recognised by swelling and inflammation of the synovial membrane, which causes serve pain and stiffness in a persons joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis experience white blood cells in the synovial membrane dividing, growing and multiplying. These lead to inflammation of the joint capsule and synovial membrane, loss of space in the synovial cavity, pain and stiffness in the joint. If there is no arthritis relief and treatment, this may lead to cartilage destruction. In the UK there are around 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis and it can affect adults of any age. However, it is more likely to start between the ages of 40 and 50. Genes you inherit from your parents may increase your chances of developing the condition, however genetic factors alone do no cause it.
Living with arthritis
Arthritis can affect people in different ways and pain can vary from day to day. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are some measures to take to help manage the condition. It’s important to keep the joints moving. It is suggested that the stronger the muscles that support the joint, then the less pain you’ll have in the joint. There are number of exercises you can do to help support joint mobility, such as stretching exercises, which can help to ease aches and pains and get the best movement from your joints, as well as strengthening exercises. Swimming is also encouraged, as it’s a great all round form of exercise for arthritis suffers as the joints are supported by the water, which makes it easier to move.
If you are overweight then you should consider reducing your weight to avoid unnecessary strain on the joints. If you are overweight, losing two stone is said to reduce pain in the knee by 50 per cent. Eating a health low-fat balanced diet can also help to improve your general health, and will also help with weight loss. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight the inflammation associated with arthritis. An antioxidant supplement can also help. Other joint supplements to try include, Chondroitin and Glucosamine supplements and Boswellia, which works as a natural inflammatory and can help sufferers quickly through its fast acting nature.
Turmeric is also a very powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, it is not only fast acting, but when taken with Boswellia they have been independently proven to work harmoniously, which produces a safe yet effective anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant combination.
If you are suffering from persistent joint pain, or severe symptoms of arthritis then you should visit your GP to get advice on how best to manage your specific condition.