Arthritis, which has no permanent cure, is common among people above 60. It affects millions of people worldwide and keeps them from enjoying a normal life. People with arthritis, find it utterly difficult to carry out physical activities because they experience mild to severe pain in their joints.
Arthritis, which has many different forms, is one of the most common causes of pain among seniors. It’s not a single disease but is a term that describes different types of joint inflammation. As per experts, there are more than 100 distinct forms of arthritis.
Although it affects people above 60, it doesn’t mean that small children, teens, and adults are free from its risk. So if you are experiencing pain in your joints for more than a couple of months now, and you are unaware of its cause, then you must consult a doctor immediately.
You could be experiencing pain due to arthritis, so it’s essential to seek an appropriate treatment at the right time to prevent the inflammation from worsening.
Since arthritis has different forms, you need to seek the treatment accordingly. As we have already discussed that there is no permanent cure for arthritis, your treatment will only help in addressing the signs and symptoms of your problem.
Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis include pain in the joints, joint stiffness, and swelling. And most people with arthritis claim that their symptoms worsen in the morning.
Now let’s take a look at some of the common forms of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, which is also known as wear and tear arthritis, occurs due to the overuse of joints. It’s the most common form of arthritis, and it affects people with age.
People with injuries and obesity are highly vulnerable to osteoarthritis. It affects weight-bearing joints such as the spine, hip, knees, and ankle. If you are experiencing this condition due to the overuse of joints that happen with age, then you won’t even realize that you are suffering from a problem. And that’s because its signs and symptoms worsen slowly.
People with this condition have damaged cartilage, which is a soft and flexible joint tissue that safeguards the bones in a joint by acting as a shock absorber. It works as a cushion between the bones, and when it starts damaging the friction between the bones leads to pain and discomfort.
People with damaged cartilage experience enormous pain when they move their joint to perform day-to-day activities.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, “In osteoarthritis (OA), the protective cartilage inside the joint breaks down.” It further says that “The intensity of OA pain varies from person to person and can range from mild to severe.”
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition, wherein a person’s immune system attacks their joint. Although the primary function of the immune system is to protect the body from bacteria and viruses, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis it’s a bit different because rather than safeguarding the body, it ends up attacking the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis, and it affects the synovial membrane, which is a soft tissue found in the joints.
Psoriatic arthritis is another significant form of arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joints leading to pain and discomfort. It mostly affects people with psoriasis, which is nothing but a skin problem. People with this problem experience stiffness in their joints in the morning.
Gout, which is utterly painful joint inflammation, occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood. People whose bodies produce excessive uric acid but fail to remove it quickly remain at a higher risk of gout.
Now let’s take a look at how to deal with arthritis.
Physical therapy is an ideal treatment for managing the signs and symptoms of arthritis. Your physical therapist will design the treatment plan based on the primary cause of your problem.
Since arthritis can stem from a variety of reasons such as injury, infection, metabolic abnormalities, and hereditary factors, etc., your therapist will treat you based on what’s causing inflammation in your joints.
According to Theracare Physical Therapy “The goals of a physical therapy treatment program are to restore lost abilities, prevent further loss of use, maintain fitness and help you to take part in normal daily activities.“
The treatment that your physical therapist will offer will not only help in reducing the pain and swelling, but it will also increase your range of motion. They may incorporate techniques like massage therapy, joint mobilization, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises in your care plan to relieve your pain and enhance joint flexibility.
Apart from seeking physical therapy, you should also embrace regular exercise, eat healthy food, and lose those extra pounds to manage the signs and symptoms of arthritis.