Living with Arthritis
Firstly lets discuss the different types of arthritis. There are a number of different types of arthritis, each type is painful but most can be treated or managed to a point.
The most common is Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common in women and usually affects people from the age of 45+
Being overweight can make you more likely to get osteoarthritis and can make it worse.
Spondyloarthritis describes a number of conditions that cause pain and swelling, usually in the spinal area.
Psoriatic arthritis is an auto-immune condition and also a form of spondyloarthritis
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It’s caused by having too uric acid, in the body. Being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. Which is why controlling certain types of food and drink can make a real difference in helping with gout related arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. The inflammation and extra fluid in a joint can cause irritated and painful nerve endings and make moving the joint difficult and painful.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is usually an auto-immune condition diagnosed in younger people before they are 16.
I have pain but how do I know I have Arthritis symptoms and what do I do next?
As above there are many different kind of arthritis so what you are experiencing will differ subject to which type you have.
Symptoms include, Fatigue, weight loss, poor unsettled sleeping habits, pain around joints and tender muscles.
You may have difficulty moving, swelling of the body, skin rashes and just a general feeling of being unwell.
You should consult a doctor if the pain you are experiencing effects your ability to perform every day tasks. This includes any joint or muscle swelling or pain that isn't caused by injury.
What will my doctor do?
There are a number of different methods that your doctor will use to diagnose your condition. This includes A blood and urine test, may include an ultra sound, CT or MRI. You may also have a synovial fluid analysis which checks the lubrication of the fluid around your joins. It is also possible you could be requested to attend an X ray or biopsy.
Can I be treated?
Medical treatments and simple life style changes can make a huge difference to arthritis.
In some cases surgery is required, for example a knee or hip replacement. You may also be offered an operation to repair tendons or have your joints realigned to help reduce your pain and increase your current level of mobility.
Drugs and medication reduce pain, can reduce swelling and inflammation. There are a huge list of different drugs you could be prescribed by your physician.
That old chestnut! Yep keeping your weight down or if you are over weight losing weight will vastly aid in taking pressure from your joints.
Gentle exercise will keep your joints flexible. Swimming is a really great exercise for arthritis as unlike walking it doesn't put pressure on your joints.
Diet and exercise can also play a huge part in your pain management, Omega 3 fatty acids like eggs, walnuts, chia seeds and oily fish like Mackerel reduce inflammation Food in antioxidants are also great for overall health and well being. Berries like blueberries are high in antioxidants, and considered a real super food! kiwi fruit, broccoli, Kidney beans and artichokes are all high in antioxidants too.
What else could help?
There are of course lots of helpful aids that can ease your pain and increase both your mobility and independence.
Adjustable beds and chairs reduce pain and improve sleep quality by taking pressure off the areas you need.
Arthritis suffers can have a real issues going up and down stairs, so it is worth considering a stairlift to help in this area, rather than pushing your body further than you can manage, which could lead to further injuries.
You could just need a little helping hand, like a walking stick or frame.
At South Yorkshire Mobility we stock and supply a huge range of products to "Help make life better"
Can I get any support?
The good news is locally in Rotherham, South Yorkshire there are people and organizations that can offer further support. We highly recommend contacting one of these organizations, any help is with taking if it can improve your quality of life and help you gain your confidence back after diagnosis.
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