Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

There are many types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of developing arthritis increases with age, and symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased flexibility in the joints. Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes called degenerative joint disease and occurs most frequently in the hips, knees or hands. OA causes reduced function along with pain, where over time, the joint cartilage wears down and becomes inflamed. Women are more likely to develop OA, especially after the age of 55. Obesity can also stress weight bearing joints – like hips or knees causing symptoms to amplify.
Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule causing inflammation and swelling. Risk factors are linked to genetics, age, previous joint injuries and obesity. Although there is no cure for arthritis, symptoms can be treated with a combination of therapies including weight loss, pain relievers, physical therapy to decrease stiffness, and supportive devices. Water exercises are an excellent start to treating OA, because the water assists in buoyancy for increased range of motion. If you are contemplating the use of a weight bearing medical device, give us a call to discuss your options. We’d love to help.

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