Take control of arthritis

By December 4, 2016Arthritis

The word “arthritis” describes joint inflammation or swelling, and it’s the name for a large group of more than 100 different conditions lan messenger. The general symptoms are stiffness, pain and inflammation in the joints and softer structures around them. There is often swelling, redness, and reduced mobility, and these symptoms may worsen with age. Fortunately, there are arthritis treatments to help you cope. The earlier treatment is started, the more effective they will be.

If arthritis is not managed and treated, it can have a major impact on your health and quality of life.

  • Joints may become severely damaged.
  • You may have increasingly limited ability to move your joints.
  • Arthritis in the hands or arms, in particular, can cause intense pain and impede daily tasks.
  • In weight-bearing joints, the condition can affect how you walk or your ability to sit up straight.
  • Arthritis can cause nodules to form on bones, often in the hands. These bumps can be disfiguring.
  • Depression may develop as a result of the emotional impact of arthritis.

How do you know if you have arthritis? Ask one of the doctors on our app. Just log into the member portal with your username and password. 

Risk factors for arthritis

  • Family history. If close family members are affected, you have a greater likelihood of getting the disease.
  • Previous injury. You’re at a greater risk of developing arthritis in a joint that has been injured in the past.
  • Being heavily overweight can put stress on your joints, particularly the knees, hips and spine.
  • Age. As you get older, you’re more likely to develop many kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
  • Women are more prone to rheumatoid arthritis, while gout is more common among men.
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  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can ease arthritis pain. In the past, doctors thought acetaminophen was only good for pain relief and did little to nothing to reduce inflammation. Now, some research suggests that acetaminophen may have some anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly used as pain relievers to ease inflammation. Talk to your doctor about using these as they could have side effects like bleeding through the stomach.
  • Creams or gels are also often used to ease joint pain. Talk to your doctor about the best option available.