Arthritis is a major cause of disability and handicap in Australia affecting people of all ages and walks of life. Arthritis is not a single condition.
Arthritis literally means inflammation of the joint.
The most common types of arthritis are:
(RA) Rheumatoid arthritis
(JIA) Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Gout, which account for 90% of all arthritis cases.
One in one thousand children are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, while it is estimated that three in every thousand children live with the condition but remained undiagnosed.
Arthritis is often misinterpreted as simply a disease which affects elderly people, when in fact 60% of those who are diagnosed with arthritis are between the ages of 15 – 60 years.
Causes of Arthritis
Due to the fact that there are over 150 different types of arthritis, there is no one single cause or list of causes for arthritis. Often several factors contribute to an individual developing this common problem.
Some types of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis: This is the most prevalent form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects joints in the body and is characterised by damage to the surface of the joint. The main symptoms are pain, and sometimes mild stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis: This is one of the most serious and disabling types affecting mostly women. Rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity, symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joints and stiffness in the mornings may occur.
Gout: Is often said to be the most painful of all the rheumatic diseases. Although it can’t be cured, it can be successfully treated. Gout can affect men of any age. Women rarely develop it before the menopause but may do so as they age.
Ankylosing spondylitis: This an inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the spine.
Juvenile arthritis: This is a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus): a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.
Scleroderma: a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.
Fibromyalgia: is a long term (chronic) condition that can cause widespread muscle pain.
Maintain appropriate weight.
Protect joints from overuse and injuries.
Regularly exercise to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Eat a healthy diet as nutrients are vital for joint health.
Hydrate your body.
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