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Arthritis

Without a doubt, arthritis is the cause for a vast majority of complaints we see in patients. Whether it is arthritis in the knees, hands, feet, spine, or elbows, the pain that results from the degeneration of our joints over time is often enough to ruin your life. Inabilities to walk, stand or sit for long periods, bend the affected joint, or enjoy an entire day without pain are just a few of the effects of having this condition. While a vast majority of arthritis cases are in those over the age of 50, many people can be affected at an earlier age as a result of other causes. There may be therapies and treatments available through Advance Health and Wellness that can put the joy of pain free living back into your life.

Arthritis is a blanket term that can refer to any one of over 100 diseases. Anywhere that has a joint, or the places where your bones are connected, like your knees, hips, wrists, ankles, fingers, or toes, can be affected by some form of arthritis. The definition of this condition is the inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed, you may experience swelling, difficulty moving, a warm sensation, and pain.

Most people think of joints as only those that move, but there are actually three different types of joints: fibrous, or immovable joints, like the plates in the skull; cartilaginous, or partially moveable joints, like the spinal cord; and synovial, or freely movable joints, like knees and elbows. The latter is the most common spot of arthritic conditions, since movement plays the largest role in damaging the joint. However, any one of these types of joints can experience arthritis pain. Even connective tissues and organs, like your skin, can be affected.

Age is a common factor of arthritic conditions, because the wearing down of joints and cartilage over time results in the joints rubbing uncomfortably up against one another. The exact cause of many different varieties of arthritis is unknown, though there are multiple things that seem to play a role. Some are:

Excessive weight-

Your joints have a harder time functioning and may wear quicker with extra pounds putting pressure on them. Arthritis in the knee, for example, may start at a younger age and advance more quickly.

Injuries-

Joint damage can result from injuries and cause some forms of the condition.

Infection-

Bacterial, fungal, or viral infections can spread to infect joints and cause inflammation.

Gender-

Except for gout, most forms of arthritis are more common in women.

Genes-

Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or ankylosing spondylitis have all been linked to genetic factors.

Work-

If you stress your knees often at work, squatting or bending, it is more likely that you will get osteoarthritis.

Whether you have yet to be diagnosed with arthritis, have been plagued with it for a while, or are unsure if an arthritic condition is causing your symptoms, it is best to discover a solution that is right for you and will provide lasting relief. Medications, like those taken to mask the pain and inflammation of arthritis, can be harmful to your body after overuse, and do not treat the source of the problem.