Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints that causes pain and stiffness. Some of these include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, septic arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. While each of these conditions have different causes, the symptoms and treatment are often the same. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, but it is particularly common in weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip, and spine. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options available to help manage pain and keep people staying active.

Arthritis may be caused by wear and tear on the articular cartilage through the natural aging process (osteoarthritis), or may develop following an injury (post-traumatic arthritis). Other types of arthritis, such as crystalline arthritis, may come from an inflammatory process. Still others, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus arthritis, are the result of a systemic disease throughout the body.

Treatment

There is no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments to help relieve the pain and disability that it can cause.

Nonsurgical Treatment - Medications, Injections of cortisone into the joints, Herbal medicines, Exercise and therapy.

Surgical Treatment - In general, an orthopaedic surgeon will perform surgery for arthritis when other methods of nonsurgical treatment have failed to relieve pain and other symptoms.

Long-Term Management - In most cases, persons with arthritis can continue to perform normal activities of daily living. Exercise programs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and weight reduction for obese persons are common measures to reduce pain, and improve function.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Exercise - Low-impact exercise can increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your joint, making your joint more stable. Try walking, bicycling or water aerobics.

Lose weight - Carrying extra weight increases the stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and your hips. Even minor weight loss can relieve some pressure and reduce your pain.

Alternative medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine treatments that have shown promise for osteoarthritis include:
1. Acupuncture.
2. Herbal supplements.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids.

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