Affecting the joints, arthritis is a common condition that has more than 10 million sufferers in the UK. Although many people believe it only occurs among older groups, people of all ages experience the condition in various degrees. But many things can be done to preserve joint function and quality of life including mobility aids and physiotherapy.
Here we explain a little more about the condition and how it affects the body.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and the condition can affect one joint or multiple such as the shoulders, ankles and wrists. The condition can cause swelling, stiffness and pain that can make day to day living very difficult, although some individuals may only experience mild symptoms.
It’s often hard to determine the root cause of arthritis as many factors can contribute such as a reduction of cartilage, genes or weight. If you suspect that your symptoms are related to arthritis, it’s best to visit your GP who can help to identify the cause and find a suitable treatment. Tests such as extracting and analysing inflammation levels can determine the type of arthritis you have.
Common symptoms of the condition include:
- Joint pain
- Swelling and redness
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty walking
- Knobbly fingers
These symptoms will be ongoing and may get gradually worse. In more serious cases, symptoms may also affect the lungs, kidneys, eyes and energy levels.
Depending on the type of arthritis you have, there are different lifestyle changes and medication you can try that will alleviate symptoms. You can try:
- Medication prescribed by your doctor.
- Using mobility aids
- Weight management if your arthritis linked to this.
- Regular exercise such as swimming
- Improving your diet
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