Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Arthritis is a medical condition that literally means “joint inflammation” and it’s been affecting millions of women, men, and children all over the world. Arthritis is debilitating, painful, and far reaching that people with this medical condition will have to deal with during their lifetime. Arthritis not only attacks the joints, but also the ligaments, muscles, tendons and bones with stiffness, swelling, and pain. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the most common forms of this medical condition.
Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a common joint degenerative condition that afflicts 20 million Americans in the US alone. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage which is the padding between joints that supports the bones. People that have this medical condition will experience Joint Pain, stiffness, swelling and motor loss for that joint. This is because the outer part of the cartilage gets damaged, resulting in losing the support of the bones that makes them rub against each other, and this form of arthritis only affects the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common form of arthritis that has been afflicting over 2 million Americans in the US for many years. Compared to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis does not only affect the joints, it can also affect a person’s eyes, heart, skin, nerves, blood, and more. This type of arthritis is characterized by symmetry, which means that if one joint is affected like for example the knee joint, the other knee joint will be affected as well. This make rheumatoid arthritis convenient, as it is much easier to diagnose and detect. Common symptoms for this type of arthritis are swelling, pain, and stiffness after a certain time of inactivity or after a certain sleep period, as fatigue is also a characteristic of this type of arthritis.
The stiffness, joint pain, and inflammation typically develop over time and sometimes it even disappears, but this type of arthritis usually afflicts each person who has the condition differently. Women are more prone to get this disease compared to men, however, men tend to acquire this condition in a more extreme capacity. It typically manifests itself in middle age, although it is common for young children and older adults to acquire the condition as well.
The onset of rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by chronic pain most of the time and is caused by arthritis. Chronic pain can hinder daily activity, interfere with work, and gradually degrade a person’s overall quality of life and well-being. However, proper therapy and medication by a qualified medical professional will surely help to manage and cope with the pain effectively and efficiently that will then aid in improving a person’s quality of life.
Today, with the constant improvement in the medical field, there are now many types of medications out on the market to properly cope with and treat chronic pain that is caused by arthritis. Anti-inflammatory medications for relieving pain and reduction of inflammation are among the most popular and widely used by people who have arthritis. Topical creams are also being used to minimize the pain and swelling. Above all these, talking or consulting with a medical professional is always highly recommended before applying treatment or cure for your arthritis. Certain herbal supplements have also been proven to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan