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  Macey Wilson   July 8, 2017   Joints 2 Comments

Understanding arthritis: Learn the 4 common types and how to manage the pain

Velocity Care unveils some of the mystery behind this prevalent and painful condition

Managing arthritis is key to reducing pain.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Anyone from children to the elderly can suffer the symptoms. Living with arthritis is difficult, and it prevents countless people from enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle. You can manage the pain from this debilitating disease and minimize the effects – and the earlier you begin treatment, the better.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a fairly common disease that refers to joint pain. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and it impacts anyone, despite age. According to Arthritis.org, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It’s also more common in women and risk for the disease increases as you age.

Four common types of arthritis and their symptoms

  1. Osteoarthritis.

Sometimes called the “wear-and-tear” arthritis, this is the most common type. It occurs when the cartilage between your joints breaks down. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness that develop over time.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis.

An autoimmune disorder, this happens when your body’s immune system starts targeting your joint linings. It involves swelling or stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs and wrists, on both sides of the body, especially when you first wake up. It may also affect your organs and body systems. Many people also feel fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever.

  1. Infectious arthritis.

An infection in your joints causes infectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis. It usually stems from bacteria or a fungus. Symptoms include joint inflammation, tenderness, fever, chills and a sharp pain. Diagnosis of this type of arthritis requires a physical and lab tests. Your doctor may also use X-rays to diagnose infectious arthritis.

  1. Juvenile arthritis.

This autoimmune disorder (a disease where the body starts to attack its own tissues) affects children 16 and under. You can identify it through symptoms like joint inflammation and stiffness that last longer than six weeks. There is no known cause for juvenile arthritis, however some believe there may be genetic predispositions.  

Diagnosing arthritis

Joint pain is the main symptom of arthritis. When dealing with arthritis, it’s important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible, since some types can cause permanent joint damage. If you start treating it early enough, you can help preserve joint function.

Treating arthritis

While there is no proven way to prevent arthritis, there are steps you can take to manage it. If you have arthritis, staying active, eating a nutritious diet and keeping a healthy weight will improve your quality of life. You can help prevent certain types of arthritis through lifestyle choices. For example, not smoking will decrease your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

One effective way to ease the pain from arthritis is soaking in warm water (92-100 F). Stretching while in the water will further stimulate blood flow, and the flexibility will last even after you’re out of the water. Some individuals find that water aerobics classes ease their joint pain.

With the proper diagnosis and care, you can mitigate the pain of arthritis. At Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center, we want to help you and your family. If you or a loved one is suffering from joint pain, don’t hesitate – come and see us today at one of our walk-in clinics in Arkansas and Louisiana. Learn more with Velocity Care’s 6 ways to care for your joints, a resource to better assist you in living pain-free.

Learn tips for how to care for your joints.

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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