All About Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful condition that affects more than 50 million adults, and 300,000 children in the United States alone. Characterized by joint pain and stiffness, this disease of the joints can negatively impact your quality life in many ways. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US, with employees missing more work due to this condition than any other.
Common Symptoms of Arthritis
The pain caused by arthritis varies greatly depending on the type you suffer from and how far the disease has progressed. Arthritis pain may be either intermittent or continuous. You may feel pain only when you are moving or only when you are still. You may also feel pain in multiple areas of your body or only in one. Arthritis pain ranges from a dull ache to intense, stabbing pain.
While many people feel stiff when they wake up, especially as they age, lasting stiffness in your joints can be a sign of developing arthritis. Arthritis stiffness is most common when first getting out of bed, after riding in the car for a long period of time, or when sitting for an extended time, particularly at a desk. Stiffness that lasts for more than one hour may be a symptom of arthritis.
Swelling in and around your joints is a common symptom of arthritis. Your joint(s) may swell, appear red, and/or feel hot to the touch. If swelling lasts for more than three days or recurs three or more times in a month, this may well be an indication of encroaching arthritis.
- Difficulty Moving Joints
When you have difficulty moving a particular joint due to pain, stiffness, and/or swelling, it is a likely symptom of some type of arthritis, particularly if you have this difficulty frequently. It is time to consult your doctor any time that pain or swelling interferes with your daily activities.
Types of Arthritis
How your arthritis is treated depends largely on which of four categories it falls in to.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of degenerative arthritis. With this kind of arthritis, your cartilage, which normally provides a slippery, cushioning surface, becomes worn away from injury or repetitive use, causing the ends of your bones to rub together. The result is pain, swelling, and stiffness. Left untreated, those with degenerative arthritis develop weak joints and chronic pain. Major risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include injury, age, family history, and being overweight.
With inflammatory arthritis, an abnormality in your immune system causes it to attack your joints, resulting in uncontrolled inflammation. This wears away the cartilage in your joints and can even damage your internal organs. Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are the most common kinds of inflammatory arthritis. Risk factors include a combination of environmental and genetic elements, such as smoking in those who carry the genetic predisposition for developing this often debilitating disease.
Less common than either degenerative or inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis is caused by a virus, fungus, or bacteria that infects your joints creating inflammation. Antibiotics have been used to successfully treat infectious arthritis, but the infection may lead to chronic arthritis pain.
Metabolic arthritis is caused by the production of too much uric acid in your body. If you can’t eliminate it quickly enough, the uric acid builds up, leading to needle-shaped crystals that form in your joints causing intense joint pain. If the condition is not treated, it can lead to chronic arthritis pain.
Luckily, there are multiple treatments and natural remedies for arthritis. After consulting your doctor, if you have ongoing pain or discomfort, you may want to consider trying CBD products. In research studies, cannibidiol has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, including that associated with common forms of arthritis.