There are several types of arthritis, the most prevalent of which are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease, and it is associated with aging. The primary identifiable cause of osteoarthritis is wear and tear on the joints, which naturally occurs with the aging process.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of and damage to the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly appears in middle age, and is far more common in women than in men. There does not seem to be a correlation between certain ethnic or racial groups and the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, and it can also affect children and young adults.
Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the skin and joints. Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that causes inflammation of the skin. When the inflammation also affects the joints, it is known as psoriatic arthritis. About 10% of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. This systemic, rheumatic disease can also cause inflammation in areas other than the skin and joints, such as the eyes, heart, kidneys, or even the lungs.
Clearly, the most common identifiable sign of arthritis is chronic pain in the affected area. Arthritis is frequently associated with pain and stiffness in joints, particularly joints that have suffered a previous injury. Pain and stiffness may be most noticeable after being immobile for a period of time, such as overnight. Swelling is also a very common symptom of all forms of arthritis.
Arthritis frequently causes hip pain, knee pain, wrist pain, and pain, stiffness, and swelling in the finger joints. Another common symptom that can aid in the proper diagnosis of arthritis is a warm sensation around the affected area. A key indicator is the presence of symptoms in the same joints on both the left and right sides of the body. For example, if the same symptoms are affecting both knees, both wrists, or both hands, it is a likely indicator that arthritis may be the cause.
A limited ability to move the joint may occur as a result of the pain and stiffness caused by the disease. Arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, may also cause a general feeling of fatigue throughout the entire body. In some cases, a patient may run a fever.
In severe cases, joint deformity may occur. With advanced progression of arthritis, a patients mobility can be significantly affected, possibly leading to the use of a mobility aid, such as a walker. Symptoms associated with arthritis that are persistent over a period of several months should not be ignored. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to slowing the progression of this disease and ensuring a better, longer lasting quality of life for patients.
Physical therapy and other natural and homeopathic remedies can significantly improve the symptoms of arthritis and help to slow the progression of the disease. Because this disease affects the joints of the body, which are made up of ligaments and cartilage, certain herbal and mineral formulations can help to improve the elasticity of the ligaments and lubrication of the joint, improving comfort and lessening pain caused by damage to the area.
Antler arthritis is a term used to describe some treatments using the velvet of deer antlers for treating arthritis. The concept behind antler arthritis is that a deer has the ability to regenerate its antlers if they have been damaged or broken, and properties from the velvet of deer and elk antler may have healing effects in humans suffering from arthritis.
Visit your practitioner at your first concern that you may be suffering from arthritis. A proper diagnosis is the first step to identifying a treatment plan that will have you living life to the fullest, free of pain, for as long as possible.