Arthritis is a common, yet painful condition used by doctors to describe pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints (versusarthritis.org, 2019). There are several different types of arthritis affecting around 10 million people in the UK (nhsinform.scot, 2019) and the most common symptoms of the disease include stiffness, swelling and reddened skin around the area affected. Although commonly associated with the older generation, arthritis and joint pain can affect people of all ages, including children. Once you are diagnosed with a specific type of arthritis there will be different types of pain relief available to you, all working to ensure that your day to day life remains as active as possible.
What is arthritis?
Due to the name ‘arthritis’ merely being a blanket term for the many different types of joint inflammation we may experience, the question ‘what is arthritis?’ can have a vast range of different answers. However, the main known cause of arthritis is a reduction in the normal amount of cartilage tissue around our joints (healthline.com, 2019). Cartilage is an important connective tissue that protects the joints by absorbing the shock placed upon them as a result of the stresses of everyday activity. If this cartilage breaks down and protection to the joints is reduced, arthritis pain is a likely result. For arthritis sufferers, it is possible that the cartilage has broken down naturally due to wear and tear, or that arthritis has stemmed from an infection or injury to the joints. Some types of arthritis are also thought to be caused by a family history of the disease, although the risk of inheriting arthritis is thought to be low.
Types of arthritis
arthritis refers to 200 rheumatic conditions that affect joints (medicalnewstoday.com, 2019), and some types of arthritis pain are seen more commonly than others. These include:
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is caused by the inflammation and breakdown of cartilage around the joints. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease where the arthritis pain may worsen over time. According to the BBC, around 50% of people that have suffered a joint injury will be diagnosed with osteoarthritis between five and 15 years down the line (bbc.co.uk, 2019).
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis pain are usually detected in the hands, feet and wrists. Heumatoid arthritis is known as an auto-immune disease, with your immune system attacking your joint protecting cells by mistake. Although it’s not entirely clear what triggers rheumatoid arthritis, it’s thought that you are at a higher risk of developing the condition if you are a woman or there is a history of it in your family. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment includes the use of pain relief medication that has been GP recommended.
This form of arthritis develops with the skin condition psoriasis and has the same symptoms as most arthritic conditions: pain and swelling of the joints. With psoriatic arthritis, your symptoms can sometimes fluctuate. If your symptoms worsen, there are several different arthritis treatments available to help you manage this. A chat with your GP will help you to find effective pain relief for your arthritis.
If you are a sufferer of arthritis, it’s important that you find the right arthritis pain relief for youso that you can lead as normal a life as possible. There is, unfortunately, no treatment to cure arthritis, but there are measures that can be taken to make living with arthritis easier. Pain relief as well as anti-inflammatory medication may help ease symptoms, with a balanced, nutrient rich diet effectively assisting any arthritis pain relief. The following medication works effectively to ease the symptoms and pain of arthritis: Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Dihydrocodeine. Alongside pain relief medication, general lifestyle changes can also reduce the severity of arthritis pain. These changes include weight loss, diet changes and a safe increase in physical activity.
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Healthline., (2019). Arthritis [online] [accessed 13 May 2019]. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/arthritis#causes.
Medical News Today., (2019), What are the causes and types of arthritis? [online] [accessed 13 May 2019] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7621.php.
Nhs Inform., (2019). Arthritis [online] [accessed 13 May 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/conditions/arthritis.
Versus Arthritis., (2019). What is Arthritis? [online] [accessed 13 May 2019]. Available at: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/arthritis/.