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WHAT IS ARTHRITIS AND HOW TO MANAGE IT: When pain becomes unbearable

Arthritis seriously impacts the quality of life. Living with constant pain is challenging for anyone. We all want to live life to the fullest and enjoy every minute of it. Life is wonderful and we wish to appreciate it! However, physical pain and psychological distress accompanying arthritis can limit people’s abilities. Arthritis seriously impacts the quality of life. Living with constant pain is challenging for anyone. We all want to live life to the fullest and enjoy every minute of it. Arthritis can limit not just our movement, but our sense of well-being, too. 

The good news is there are ways to alleviate the pain and we would like to share some of our best tips for managing arthritis and enjoying life more!

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in a joint. It can be described as swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages, including children.  We know about more than 100 different types of arthritis. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  

The symptoms are:

  • joint pain, tenderness and stiffness.
  • inflammation in and around the joints.
  • restricted movement of the joints.
  • warm red skin over the affected joint.
  • weakness and muscle deterioration.

The symptoms most often develop over time. Arthritis is commonly seen in adults over the age of 65. However, it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. Women and people who are overweight are most affected.

Research shows that in the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints.

Types of arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis

Research done by the National Health Service reveals that osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting nearly 9 million people. Osteoarthritis most often develops in people in their mid-40s or later. It is also more common in women.

Osteoarthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint. This change in cartilage lining makes movement difficult and leads to pain. Since the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the tendons and ligaments have to be used harder, which can cause swelling. The loss of cartilage leads to bones rubbing against one another, altering the shape of the joint and forcing the bones out of their normal position. 

The most commonly affected joints are those in the:

  • Hands,
  • Spine,
  • Knees,
  • Hips.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Research has been done and shows that in the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people, with the 40-50 years old population being most commonly affected. Women are 3 times more prone to rheumatoid arthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis means that the body’s immune system targets affected joints. This process leads to pain and swelling. The outer covering of the joint is initially affected. The change spreads across the joint and leads to further swelling and change in the joint’s shape. Rheumatoid arthritis is dangerous because it can cause the bone and cartilage to break down. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs in their bodies.

Is there a treatment?

Though there’s no cure for arthritis, there are some very good treatments that may benefit a patient’s health greatly. We must emphasize that starting treatment at an early stage is very important. 

There are many treatments that can help slow arthritis down.

Osteoarthritis treatments encompass lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments include medication, physiotherapy, and surgery. The goal is to slow down the progression of the condition and minimise joint inflammation. This helps in preventing joint damage. 

How to prevent arthritis?

Fortunately, there are a few healthy habits you can practice to prevent arthritis. The good news is that these practices help other diseases also! 

Eat fish 

Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The benefit of taking omega-3s is that inflammation is reduced in the body. Studies show that women who eat fish regularly are at lower risk for rheumatoid arthritis. The recommended fish are:

salmon

trout

mackerel

sardines

You should eat them twice a week. Fish caught in the wild is preferred over farmed fish. 

Weight management

People who are overweight or obese are at high risk of developing arthritis. The knees support your body weight. Overweight women are four times more likely to get knee osteoarthritis than women of a healthy weight. Try and keep a healthy body weight.

Exercise

Exercise is so important for a healthy body. It strengthens the muscles around the joints. The best exercises for your joints are walking and swimming. It’s also good to add some stretching to maintain your flexibility and motion. 

Wear your high heels less frequently!

Ladies, our foot was not designed to be on its toes all day long. It is alright to wear our heels sometimes, but not every day! Please, switch to a more joint-friendly style and your body will thank you!

Check your vitamin D levels

People who have good levels of vitamin D have less chance of arthritis. Patients who have optimal levels of vitamin D have a slower progression of osteoarthritis than patients who don’t have normal levels of this vitamin. 

Collagen!

Collagen is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are the structural units that make up proteins. The body can use collagen supplements to protect and rebuild joint cartilage that has damage!

Collagen keeps muscles and tendons together. It can rebuild your cartilage!

Keeping your joints well lubricated supports your body and health. 

Goodwill Pharma’s Cartinorm®+ BIOcollagen contains bioavailable collagen which is natural and safe for your body. Fortigel‎‎®‎‎ collagen, used in this product,‎ is proven to preserve and regenerate cartilage. Two more super ingredients in the product are Chondroitin Sulfate. A natural substance found in cartilage around joints, typically coming from animal sources. Glucosamine Sulfate is a natural sugar found in and around the tissues that cushion your joints.

Tips to remember

Arthritis is a serious condition since constant pain can last a lifetime. Although not curable, there are ways to manage it. 

Let’s recap the most common lifestyle changes that are beneficial for managing arthritis: 

Studies show that physical exercise may help reduce pain and fatigue. So try and rest when you need to and eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and Omega3-rich food. Do some yoga and meditate. Go for a massage and improve your sleep habits. 

Come back next week for another blog post with healthy tips and tricks, and share this post with anyone who might be suffering from arthritis! 


Sources:

www.ard.bmj.com

www.nhs.ukwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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