What is Arthritis?

DEFINE – What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition which affects the joints. It is characterised by painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints, and tends to get progressively worse with age.

BREAKING DOWN – Arthritis

There are two main types of arthritis, which are called osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis refers to the deterioration of cartilage. It is frequently called the ‘wear-and-tear’ arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an affliction which causes harm to the joints. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system doesn’t function properly, and as a result, inflammation occurs in the joints – frequently in the hands and feet. 

While there are actually many different types of arthritis, the common symptoms are often the same. These symptoms tend to be related to the joints and include pain, inflammation, and limited range of motion.

Osteoarthritis is the more common form. As briefly mentioned above, it refers to the gradual wearing down of the cartilage found within the joints. This leaves the bones exposed and susceptible to friction from rubbing against one another. In turn, this often creates pain in the joint. This type of arthritis can also show up suddenly, through a sports injury for example, or after extensive wear and tear which takes place over a long period of time. 

Both forms can affect the ability to do basic tasks, and can cause moderate to severe discomfort and pain. Further, various factors will put you more at risk of developing arthritis, such as your age, family history, your sex (females are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis), and your weight.

However, both types of arthritis are manageable. Treatment often entails managing the symptoms associated with your particular type of arthritis. Surprisingly, movement is frequently encouraged. By moving and strengthening the areas around the affected joints, they are more supported and more stable. This can reduce the pressure and pain at the joint. Movement further increases blood flow, which can help decrease pain and inflammation. 

In addition, physiotherapy and massage therapy are often recommended to help guide treatment. At Athlete’s Choice Massage, our team of fully qualified massage therapists can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. Find out how our comprehensive team of experienced and trained professionals can guide you back toward feeling your best. Click BOOK NOW below to schedule your next (or your first!) appointment today.

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