Arthritis Prevention & Treatment

Published: April 15, 2010

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How to Prevent Against This

Many forms of arthritis develop as people become older. When caught early, certain types of arthritis can be controlled, causing minimal symptoms and limited risk for permanent damage. When left untreated, arthritis, even when occurring as part of the aging process, can cause permanent damage, extreme pain, and disfigurement. Arthritis, when out of control, could interfere with your job, family life, active lifestyle, and daily activities. For these reasons, it is important to seek regular care from a doctor if you have been diagnosed with arthritis or if you have a family history of arthritis. Regular treatment can help you keep your life balanced and in control.

Even if you are seeking regular treatment, many types of arthritis are not possible to prevent. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis can become worse irrespective of treatment, and flare-ups can be difficult to control or predict. Regardless, even when your arthritis is out of control, your doctor can teach you how to live with and balance your symptoms.

For the most part, osteoarthritis also cannot be prevented. Wear and tear on the joints, bones, cartilage, and ligaments are a natural part of aging. Regardless, it is possible to control osteoarthritis by making certain changes to your routine. For instance, you may notice that certain actions or motions will aggravate your condition. If you play sports or type for many hours a day, your condition may become worse. A doctor or physical therapist will work with you to help you establish techniques and ranges of motion that keep symptoms of stiffness and pain under control.

Regardless, all types of arthritis require consistent medical care. When caught early, the symptoms of arthritis can be treatable and suppressible. Even autoimmune forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis are more controllable when under the care of a doctor. If left untreated, arthritis can cause permanent damage, deformities, and even organ failure, depending on the severity and type of arthritis.

Maintaining a regular exercise routine can help prevent arthritis from developing. Workouts should include basic strength training and low impact exercise. Stretching improves flexibility, which can also minimize arthritis pain and stiffness.

When you do not exercise, and your lifestyle becomes sedentary, you put yourself at additional risk. If you do not stay active, your muscles will start to degenerate, and as a result, you will experience additional problems such as tendinitis and muscular atrophy. You will become tired more easily and your arthritis symptoms might actually become worse. If you are having trouble, you may need to work with a medical professional, personal training, or physical therapist. It might also be helpful to try new strategies for low-impact aerobic exercise, such as swimming.

Diet Tips

A diet that is high in calcium can help alleviate arthritis symptoms. People might choose to take calcium supplements. Some research has shown that antioxidants such as vitamin C can help slow down the effects of osteoarthritis. Fruits that are rich in folic acid can help alleviate the side effects that accompany certain medications that treat arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Treatment & Relief Methods

There is no cure for arthritis. Treatments will try to alleviate symptoms, slow down the progression of the disease, or treat the underlying disease, disorder, or condition. In some cases, there is no cure for the condition that is causing arthritis.

A doctor will prescribe a treatment based on the causes and symptoms for your specific case. Common treatments will include exercise, lifestyle changes, support braces, and dietary supplements.

A doctor may prescribe you a physical therapy regimen where you can learn exercises and routines that may help in the long run. The doctor might also encourage you to follow a low impact exercise plan.

Over-the-counter painkillers may help alleviate symptoms. Prescription drugs are available to relieve pain and suppress the immune system. Other drugs block the production of enzymes that cause inflammation. Some anti-rheumatic and immunosuppressant drugs can help alleviate arthritis that is caused by an autoimmune disorder.

Common Surgeries

Many people with severe arthritis require hip replacement surgeries. With these procedures, the surgeon will rebuild the joint. A surgeon may also choose to replace natural joint fluid with a synthetic joint fluid.

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