Wear A Brace Or Splint
This can be cumbersome when youre going about your day, but the support and pain relief it brings can be significant for some people. But a brace or splint is not useful is the fit is off or if its not the right type for your specific needs. I usually recommend neoprene orthosis for daytime to support a wrist or thumb, and if needed thermoplastic , which are rigid and meant to limit motion at night if pain interferes with sleep, says Dodge. Be sure to check in with your occupational therapist before ordering one on your own.
How To Prevent Arthritis
Genetic factors that play a role in the development of arthritis are not preventable you are more likely to develop the disease if you are female and there is a history of arthritis in your family. But theres good news. Even if you have a genetic predisposition, lifestyle changes can help delay the onset of arthritis or prevent you from developing it at all.
There are three major ways to prevent or delay the onset of arthritis:
These are the specific lifestyle changes you can make today to protect your joints cartilage, reduce inflammation and prevent yourself from developing the other diseases associated with arthritis:
How Exercises Help Prevent Arthritis
- Helping in weight loss. Exercises and workouts, when done consistently over time, help reduce weight. This, in turn, reduces the stress on hip and knee joints, reducing the risk of arthritis.
- Supporting healthy cartilage. Joint cartilage needs motion and some stress to stay healthy. Synovial fluid, stored in the cartilage, is excreted whenever the joint is used to deliver nutrients and lubrication. It also reduces inflammation of the joint.
- Reducing pain. Exercise strengthens muscles, which then provide better support and stability to joints. This stability helps prevent bones from dislocating, and protect them from impact and friction, therefore reducing pain. Endorphins released by the body during exercise are the bodys natural painkillers.
- Increasing motion and function. Exercises keep the joints and muscles agile and flexible, increasing their range of motion. This also reduces the chances of stiff muscles, which can lead to arthritis.
- Increasing strength. Exercises increase the strength of muscles, which reduce the amount of stress that would have been placed on joints.
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Low Impact Regular Exercise Routine
For healthy hip joints, low impact exercises can be very beneficial. Repeated, jarring impacts will ultimately lead to joint damage, though. Proper form in the spine and feet can help offload the force of certain activities, such as lifting heavy weights or running, from the hips to other joints better suited for absorbing shock.
Trading a high impact activity, such as running, for a low impact activity, like swimming, can preserve joint health and keep arthritis at bay. Furthermore, limiting activity to no more than 1-2 hours per day can promote joint health by reducing fluid in the joint and damage to cartilage. Simply put, instead of walking 7-10 miles per day, aim for 2-3 miles. This allows your hip joint to stay active without overworking your cartilage.
Does Arthritis Affect Women More Often Than Men
Arthritis does affect women more frequently than men. More than 46 million Americans are living with arthritis, and 61 percent of them are women. That means about 28 million women are affected by arthritis in the United States.
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects more women than men in the United States. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center says RA is two to three more times prevalent in women compared to men. Researchers believe hormonal differences between women and men may explain part of the reason.
The good news is there are some steps women can take to try to prevent osteoarthritis. They include:
- Lose weight to reduce pressure being put on knee and hip joints
- Do low-impact exercises to avoid wearing down the cartilage in joints
- Leave high heels in the closet to avoid the pressure they put on ankle joints
- When lifting objects, lift with your legs instead of your back to relieve stress on joints
- Maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D to slow the progression of arthritis
- Stay hydrated to keep cartilage lubricated and functioning smoothly
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Things To Do To Stop Arthritis From Progressing
If youre over 65, odds are even that you have arthritis. It may amount to nothing more than mild stiffness in the hands or knees or may plague you with several painfully swollen, severely inflamed joints. Either way, however, it needs attention, and it can be helped.
Arthritis, which literally means inflamed joints, is as old as mankind. More than 100 different forms of the disease have been discovered, according to the Arthritis Foundation. In older adults, the three most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Scientists are beginning to understand some of the causes of the disease, which has mystified researchers for centuries. Defects in the immune system, infections, and heredity are the suspected culprits in some forms of the disease. Previous joint injuries and the natural deterioration of joints over a lifetime also make people more vulnerable.
Many people ignore arthritis or dismiss it as the aches and pains of growing older. Others swallow mouthfuls of painkillers instead of seeking medical treatment. Some try unproven remedies such as snake venom or copper bracelets.
None of these strategies, however, is really adequate. Arthritis is a progressive, potentially crippling disease that needs medical attention. Although it has no cure, with the right treatments its debilitating effects can be halted and even reversed.
Osteoarthritis: The Greatest Threat
The Role of Exercise
Ways To Take Charge And Prevent Arthritis In Your Spine
The Riddle of the Sphinx: What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?
If youre not familiar with the Riddle of the Sphinx, it was a trap posed by this mythical creature in order to devour travelers. If you couldnt answer the riddle correctly, you became the Sphinxs dinner. According to legend, Oedipus gave the correct answer, and the Sphinx promptly died.The answer is, MAN. Early in life babies crawl on all fours. During the majority of ones healthy years people walk upright on two legs. However, as old age sets in and arthritis bends the spine and cripples the knees, a bent-over elder adds a cane for supportessentially a third leg. If the Sphinx should re-emerge, now you know the answer.
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Recognize The Symptoms And The Cause Of Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain at the joint, inflammation, stiffness, loss of flexibility and range of motion. A surgeon’s evaluation, including an MRI and x-ray, can determine the degree and extent of any cartilage damage and also establish the injury or underlying mechanical problems that may have caused it, such as a missing or damaged meniscus cartilage.
Say Hello To Your New Best Friend: The Heated Mattress Pad
A change in the weather, a late night on the town, an unexpected work trip, a call from your mother-in-law once youve been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis you suddenly become aware of all the strange things that can trigger a flare. But while some arthritis triggers are individual, theres one that seems common to almost everyone living with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and other types of inflammatory arthritis: dawn.
Morning stiffness, pain, and immobility are so common that having these symptoms for an hour or more after waking up is part of the diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis .
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Bring On The Chili Peppers
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers and it can be used topically over symptomatic joints first thing in the morning to help ease the pain. It doesnt work for everyone, but some find it helpful. Be careful, it does burn a little at first!! Don R. Martin, MD, a rheumatologist with Sentara RMH Rheumatology
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gout
Gout flares start suddenly and can last days or weeks. These flares are followed by long periods of remissionweeks, months, or yearswithout symptoms before another flare begins. Gout usually occurs in only one joint at a time. It is often found in the big toe. Along with the big toe, joints that are commonly affected are the lesser toe joints, the ankle, and the knee.
Symptoms in the affected joint may include:
- Pain, usually intense
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Stop Eating An Unhealthy Diet
What’s your diet got to do with arthritis? Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if you’ve got arthritis. Excess pounds can put lots of stress on weight-bearing joints, which is likely to make arthritis pain worse. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.
Stop Withholding Info From Your Healthcare Provider
It’s tempting not to tell your healthcare provider everything, especially if you’re afraid you’ll have to go through unpleasant testing or have to change the treatment regimen you’re comfortable with.
But in order for your healthcare provider to have the best chance of helping you, he needs to know everything. Talk openly about what makes your condition better or worse, what concerns you have, and what you don’t understand.
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Who Should Diagnose And Treat Gout
The disease should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of gout patients. This is important because the signs and symptoms of gout are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory diseases. Doctors who specialize in gout and other forms of arthritis are called rheumatologists. To find a provider near you, visit the database of rheumatologistsexternal icon on the American College of Rheumatology website. Once a rheumatologist has diagnosed and effectively treated your gout, a primary care provider can usually track your condition and help you manage your gout.
Articular Cartilage Paste Graft
Articular cartilage paste grafting is an arthroscopic, out-patient, single-step procedure in which a small amount of the patients own bone and cartilage is taken out of the knee, smashed into a paste, and impacted back into an arthritic defect in the joint. Supported by injections of growth factors to accelerate healing, the knee grows replacement tissue, right inside the joint, leveraging the healing ability of the patients own body.
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Make Sure To Exercise
Along with helping you to maintain a healthy weight, exercise is also good for keeping muscles and joints healthy, Dr. Kaplan says.
“Any kind of exercise that doesn’t strain muscles is good,” he says, and cautions people to start gradually especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been active and build up to a higher tolerance and endurance.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, per the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
The stronger your muscles, the better they’re able to protect your joints and potentially prevent osteoarthritis, per University of Iowa Health Care. Plus, physical activity helps prevent stiffness in your joints, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“In general, I recommend range-of-motion exercises things that keep the joints moving, like walking, swimming, bicycling,” Dr. Kaplan says.
OA is mainly thought of as a disease that accompanies age with a lot of use of the joint, cartilage wears down, leading to friction and the dreaded bone-on-bone contact.
But OA can also be the result of an injury caused by physical activity or accidents, per the Mayo Clinic.
Of course, you can’t retreat to a bubble to avoid injuries and accidents. But there are reasonable and prudent tactics you can take to protect your joints:
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated
Rheumatoid arthritis is a perplexing disease with symptoms and progression varying greatly with people. While there is no permanent cure for RA, the condition can be treated in the following ways.
In the early stage
- Inflammation control is important at all phases of RA, but reducing it early provides the best chance of avoiding joint damage.
- Often, a low-dose steroid combined with a low dose of a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug provides the best control.
- Methotrexate, a drug originally developed to fight cancer but now commonly used as the first-line therapy for RA, is the most used DMARD.
- To slow the progression of the disease, combine these medications with lifestyle changes.
In the moderate stage
- Treatment options may include steroid injections. Doctors may try biologic DMARDs, such as Enbrel and Humira, which use genetically engineered proteins to suppress a portion of the immune system.
- These injectable drugs may delay the course of RA, but they can potentially have serious side effects. Physical activity is an important aspect of the recovery process.
- Some patients may require physical therapy before they may begin self-administered muscle-strengthening aerobic exercises.
In the severe stage
In the end stage
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What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis
The symptoms of your arthritis will vary widely depending on which type of arthritis you have. The patterns will likely be quite different, as will the location and the severity of the pain and the other symptoms that may accompany the pain.
Despite the great potential for diversity in symptoms, however, there are four main symptoms present in almost every variety of arthritis.
Stop Avoiding Mobility Aids
A cane, walker, or wheelchair may be necessary for some people with arthritis to stay independent and get around on their own. Understandably it can be tough to think about needing some sort of mobility aid, but if you do need one and don’t use it you risk missing out on things you would enjoy.
A cane or wheelchair doesn’t define who you are, and no one will judge you or think less of you for using one. In fact, you’ll probably be admired for getting out there and having fun in spite of needing a little help.
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Avoid High Impact Exercise
Avoid exercises such as running, plyometrics, and contact sports. Instead, try biking, walking, swimming, or low impact options on exercise videos to protect your joints. Sticking to low impact exercises can also help you prevent major injuries such as a ligament tear, which can contribute to arthritis.
Youre Gonna Want To Start Using These Asap
You use your hands for so many things during the day that if you were to look at a highlight reel, you might be shocked at how many hours your hands are on duty. And its not even the obvious things, like lifting heavy objects, that are the biggest offenders for arthritis hand pain in your fingers and wrists.
Tasks that require gripping, such as opening jars, turning door knobs, cutting food, and lifting bags often can overstress the small joints of the hand and wrist, causing pain, says Carole Dodge, OTR, CHT, a certified hand therapist who specializes in arthritis and rheumatology at University of Michigan Health System Occupational Therapy. And when you have pain, you start avoiding certain activities, which can lead to weakness. This can create a vicious cycle that leads to further hand pain and weakness.
But you can cut down on joint pain and strain in your hands by making simple adjustments to how you perform everyday tasks hanging a washcloth to dry instead of wringing it out, or carrying a purse over your shoulder instead of on your wrist. Each time you make these kinds of adjustments you create everyday habits that become natural and pay off for your future.
These tips help people continue to perform tasks while preventing further stress on the involved/inflamed joints that may lead to potential deformity, says Dodge. This is important for people with active hand arthritis.
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What Increases Your Chances For Gout
The following make it more likely that you will develop hyperuricemia, which causes gout:
- Being male