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What is arthritis?

The term arthritis includes hundreds of different diseases that usually cause pain in joints, ligaments, tendons, bones or other parts of the musculoskeletal system.

Inflammation can be a symptom of arthritis, but not all forms of this disease are characterized. Inflammation is caused by a natural reaction of the human body when tissue is irritated or infected. The affected area of the body will be marked by swelling, pain and redness. We are talking about a type of inflammatory arthritis.

According to Statistics Canada, one in six Canadians aged 12 and older is affected by one form of arthritis. Trauma, an infection and natural wear can be causes of arthritis. However, sometimes no cause explains the symptoms felt by the person.

A disease in many forms

The two main forms of arthritis are arthrosis and rheumatoid polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis / rheumatism).

Arthrosis

Arthrosis or osteoarthritis, a chronic joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It is characterized as a daytime, mechanical pain that takes place during joint movement. It is a disease that results in abnormal cartilage degeneration. Repetitive movements and repetitive strain injuries can be the cause of this disease. Excess weight and a lack of physical activity are two other important factors to consider in the development of arthrosis. (See full section on arthrosis)

Rheumatoid polyarthritis

This type of arthritis is an inflammatory disease that most commonly affects people aged 40 to 60. The joints most commonly affected are the hands, wrists and feet, but other joints can be affected. Women are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

Several other forms of arthritis can appear with distinct characteristics. Including psoriatic arthritis, which is accompanied by the typical skin lesions found in psoriasis. Also, infectious arthritis also called septic arthritis, which comes from bacteria, a fungus or a virus, causing joint inflammation. It appears suddenly and is usually accompanied by fever and chills or discomfort in the body. It can affect a single joint, sometimes more. Infectious arthritis usually lasts for a short period, but it must be treated quickly. If you think you have this disease, please consult a doctor as soon as possible.

What are the causes and symptoms of arthritis?

Arthritic diseases are part of the chronic type. Some forms are characterized by the deterioration of joint structures. The progression of the disease is related to the stiffness that decreases the joint mobility and causes atrophy of the muscles surrounding it. Over time, the joint may become deformed by the wear of the bone and cartilage withered. Each form of arthritis has its own symptoms. Joint and musculoskeletal pain, however, is common to all versions of the disease.

The intensity of arthritic pain varies from person to another depending on the severity and extent of the disease. Sometimes, the pain may subside temporarily.

How to prevent or alleviate arthritis pain?

If you suffer from arthrosis, please see the accompanied sheet to learn more about ways to prevent and reduce the symptoms. Regarding other forms of arthritis, different ways can help alleviate the pain.

Maintain a healthy weight

People who suffer from arthritis and are overweight would benefit greatly from losing a few pounds. Weight loss will have a beneficial effect on pain reduction. Among those affected by arthrosis, being overweight is a major risk for disease progression.

Relaxing and sleep

People who tend to have high levels of stress, anxiety or nervous fatigue must rely on rest before anything else. Often, breathing and relaxation exercises are simple ways to get the body to relax. A good night's sleep is also essential and helps reduce pain.

Move

Physical activity is essential for maintaining joint mobility. When the body is subjected to exercises, it secretes endorphins in the body, producing an analgesic effect. Choose your activities according to your physical condition and your limitations. It is important to find a good balance that will allow you to reap the benefits of exercise and rest periods between sessions. Stretching, amplified exercises, endurance and strength training can contribute to the well-being of a person with arthritis while maintaining a healthy balance.

Get a massage

Consulting a massage therapist can be beneficial to relax the muscles and relax the body. It is important to talk about your condition with the massage therapist before the massage treatment.

If you suffer from a form of arthritis, know that there are support groups that allow you to discuss the matter, to break the isolation and learn about the latest technological advances. Check with your doctor or the Arthritis Society by visiting http://www.arthrite.ca.