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Arthritis and joint pain

What is arthritis

What is osteoarthritis

Food, lifestyle and arthritis

How do you deal with arthritis and prevent deeper damage

Available natural relief treatments and remedies for arthritis and joint pain

 

If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from arthritis, osteoarthritis, or any type of joint pain or inflammatory pain, you'll be happy to hear that there is hope!

I have osteoarthritis in my fingers, causing the joints to swell and bulge and make my fingers almost look deformed.  It can be quite painful too. I remember when I first noticed the swelling in one finger... I rushed to the doctor's convinced I had skin cancer.   But my knees are the worst.  I've had bad knees since my early 20's (I'm in my mid 40's now).  When the weather is bad or about to get nasty, do my knees feel it!  If I try to sit down, get up, go up or down the stairs - everything seems to give me instant excruciating pain.  I can feel the bones rubbing against each other and the inside of my knees being torn.

Can you relate?

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is more than a single disease.  It comprises more than 100 conditions that affect millions of people around the world every day including children.  While osteoarthritis mostly affect people over 60 (oh lucky me, it found me 20 years early!), arthritis in its various forms can start as early as infancy.  Arthritis-related conditions primarily affect the muscles and the bones.

The common denominator in all the forms of arthritis is that they all affect the musculoskeletal (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue) system and specifically the joints - where two or more bones meet.

Arthritis-related joint problems include pain, stiffness, inflammation or swelling and damage to joint cartilage (the tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of the bones, enabling them to glide against one another) and surrounding structures. Such damage can lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that, depending on the location of joint involvement, can interfere with the most basic tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting your food or brushing your teeth.  

Arthritis is a major cause of disability which costs millions of people their health, their physical abilities, and often their independence.

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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis.

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Food, lifestyle and arthritis

Evidence shows that excessive weight and the type of diet you follow may influence symptoms of certain types of arthritis and related conditions.  However, not everyone is affected the same and each case is very individualistic;  athletes and active people often develop arthritis after an injury, obese people put more pressure on their joints and degeneration occurs faster.

Just like every other aspect of our lives, a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet is always best and prevents many problems as we all age.  

But how many people care THAT much about diet and exercise?  

Recent studies show that people in North America are more obese now than ever before and nearly half of the population is overweight.  Children are overweight before they reach school age and many are obese by the time they start high school.  Many forms of arthritis and joint pain are not selective, it can affect anyone at any time at any age.  It's very important to try to prevent and treat joint and tissue damage early in life, especially if your level of physical activity and exercise is low to non-existent.  Make sure your children exercise regularly and get plenty of physical activity; you will do them a great favor to help keep them in good health and give them a good healthy routine to follow at a young age.  It's much easier to learn healthy behaviors and healthy eating habits as a child than it is to change our lifestyles as adults.  Bad habits are a lot more difficult to break, especially when they've been with you your entire life.

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How do you deal with arthritis

Unfortunately, once you have it, it doesn't go away, it's there to stay.  It's a nasty little disease because it really likes you a lot.  Although there is no cure per se for arthritis, you can considerably slow down the degeneration process and improve the damage that's already been done.  The patient has an important role to play in the management of his or her arthritis.

If your arthritis is just starting and is not inconveniencing you to the point that you can no longer perform routine daily tasks or had to stop working, it's time to do something NOW to help prevent further degeneration.  Drugs help relieve the pain, but do not help to regenerate healthy tissues.  Vitamins and natural supplements combined with moderate exercise help a lot of people rebuild cartilage and slow down permanent degeneration.

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