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Arthritis

gardening, arthritis, joint pain Nearly one million Americans develop arthritis every year. Arthritis affects individuals of all ages, shapes and sizes, and most commonly comes in the form of osteoarthritis.1

Osteoarthritis is the number one reason for joint replacement and develops after many years of constant motion and pressure on your joints. This “wear and tear” causes the cartilage to become inflamed and can result in unbearable pain and decreased range of motion.

Patients suffering from osteoarthritis may experience pain, aches, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. This can affect day-to-day activities, such as walking, sleeping and household chores.

Other types of arthritis include inflammatory and traumatic. Inflammatory arthritis, also known as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, is a chronic disease, which causes swelling and heat in the joint lining. Meanwhile traumatic arthritis is inflammation of the joint that is caused by an injury and characterized by a breakdown of bone and cartilage; bleeding in the joint space and increased bone thickness; a flattening of the joint space; and separation of the joint cartilage from the underlying bone and/or bone erosion.


Treatment Options

There are a variety of ways to manage and reduce the symptoms of arthritis:

•    Direct heat
•    Lifestyle changes like weight loss and/or exercise
•    Over-the-counter remedies (NSAIDs)
•    Prescription medications
•    Injections
•    Physical therapy

When these treatments no longer work, it may be time to consider joint replacement surgery.
1 http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm