Know What Causes Arthritis
and Take Control of It
Do you know what causes arthritis? Can you imagine joints that are red, burning, swollen and so stiff you don't want to move? That's what those who suffer from arthritis experience on a daily basis. If this what you go through already, you are probably among the one out of every five people living with arthritis in North America. If you aren't, you may want to better understand what causes arthritis so you can avoid it or help someone who is suffering. To better understand arthritis we need to look at its root cause.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis actually means joint (arthr, as in arthropods which include the very-obviously jointed insects, crabs etc.) inflammation (itis). Arthritis refers to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases and other conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints or any part of your body. Additionally, it can damage the joint cartilage which can lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities that can interfere and, in severe cases, limit a person's ability to perform most basic daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, washing dishes or brushing your teeth. Arthritis can affect anyone regardless of age and most commonly affects joints in the knees, hips, hands and spine. If left undiagnosed and not treated properly, arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the joints, bones, organs, and skin. Not to mention dramatically impairing your quality of life.
Some of the types of arthritis which are associated with inflammation include:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- polymyalgia rheumatica
Arthritis-related conditions primarily affect the muscles and the bones but it is also considered to be systemic, affecting the whole body. Arthritis can cause damage to any bodily organ or system, including the lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, skin and even the heart. The Arthritis Foundation sites two independent studies (Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota) both of which prove that the widespread inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis is linked to heart disease and an increased risk of early death.
No one really knows what causes arthritis, but there are certain risk factors to be aware of:
- Genetics - may to contribute to risk but no one knows how much. (As in most cases, if genetics is involved, it is a case of genetics loads the gun; lifestyle pulls the trigger)
- Age - the older you are the more at risk you become.
- Weight - maintaining a healthy weight will ease the load on the joints.
- Previous injury - major injuries are likely to contribute to risk.
- Occupational hazards - repetitive, high demand jobs increase risk.
- Certain Sports - high level, high demand sports can contribute to arthritis (however, general exercise is always a plus)
- Illness or infection - an infection in the joint or gout can lead to arthritis.
What we do know is that when you have arthritis, your immune system goes into over-drive and causes the joints to swell and become inflamed. Therefore, treating the inflammation is a key to managing the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
Sadly enough, the Arthritis Foundation reports that half of those Americans with arthritis don't believe anything can be done to help ease their pain. They, obviously, do not understand what causes arthritis. You may be in that situation yourself, having thrown your hands up in frustration and simply decided to live with your pain. The good news is that by reducing the inflammation you can significantly ease the painful symptoms associated with arthritis.
Here are a few ways to reduce your inflammation:
- Exercise - less weight equals less stress on joints
- Diet - Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products; limit sugar, salt and fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products)
- Rest - a good balance between rest and activity is the key to joint health
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications - while these may provide temporary relief by masking the pain they are not always get to the root of the problem - inflammation. They can also have serious side effects, especially with long-term use.
- Natural anti-inflammatory supplements - probably the most promising natural approach to reducing inflammation in a long while. We recommend looking for supplements containing systemic enzymes and all-natural herbal ingredients.
By taking these simple steps to reducing inflammation you will be well on your way to managing your arthritis pain and it devastating effects on your mind and body. Everyone should strive to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle for optimal health and wellbeing.
My recommendation: learn the lifestyle factors involved and understand what causes arthritis in the first place and start making changes to improve your bodies ability to fight inflammation. In the meantime, of course, you want relief from the pain. A company that, I believe, understands the fundamentals of joint health is offering a free trial of a product that, to me, looks like it could be really helpful in many cases. Read below and then follow the link to take them up on their free offer. I did and it looks like a really good product.
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