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Nova Scotia Seniors – Arthritis! Ouch!Posted Aug 10, 2016
So.. who doesn’t suffer from arthritis? Perhaps if you’ve been lucky enough to have never broken a bone or turn an ankle throughout your entire life, you might escape it. That being said, as we grow into our senior years, our bodies start showing wear and tear and our immune systems do not fight with the same vigor as they did when we were younger. This usually means Arthritis creeps into our lives, regardless of how lucky we were in our younger years.
September is the national month of Arthritis Awareness and here is some information to help increase yours.
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints but there are several different types and the name is used for around 200 rheumatic conditions that affect the joints and surrounding tissues… who knew??!
These 200 conditions are divided into seven basic groups:
Inflammation is usually the body’s way of dealing with injury. However, in the case of inflammatory arthritis, instead of being part of the healing process, it can do damage resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness. Rheumatoid Arthritis fits into this category.
Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
Osteoarthritis fits into this group. This is the most common and can be caused by an injury to the joint or a fracture, among other things. It primarily involves the cartilage on the ends of the bones and when it is damaged, often the bones try to restore stability by reshaping and this leads to small boney growths or can cause the joint to be misshapen.
Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
The pain comes from the muscles or soft tissues that support the joints
Tennis Elbow falls under this group
Back pain has its own category because there are so many possibilities as to what causes it. Slipped discs, thinning of the bones, compression, etc., are all possible factors. It can also be radiated pain from elsewhere in the body
Connective tissue disease
These tissues connect joint and organs and include ligaments, cartilage and tendons. While joint pain in a symptom, often it is not the joint that causes the issue.
This is caused by an infection entering the joint such as food poisoning or Hepatitis. In most cases it can be cleared up with antibiotics.
An example would be Gout. This is caused by Uric acid not being cleared from the system by the kidneys, leaving sharp needle like crystals in the cooler joints – extremities.
What can you do? Well, there are many different options and they depend on which type of arthritis you are suffering from.
We know that exercise, even though we are tired and our joints hurt, is one of the key things to keeping us mobile – you must keep moving. There are exercise regimens specifically made up for Arthritis sufferers. Find one and follow it.
Medications can range from pain management to antibiotics and you would have to speak to your doctor and probably try a few before you settle on the treatment that’s best for you.
There are surgical solutions, which should be a last resort for obvious reasons and because of the current limitations of prosthetics. When we are able to produce the bionics for wide spread treatments – then maybe we can become the $6,000,000. man or woman a little sooner.
Then there is the natural route with diets and supplements such as Glucosamine Chondroitin, Shark Cartilage, etc.
Here is one place to start looking: The Arthritis Foundation and there are many others.
Keep informed, keep in touch with your doctor and keep moving. Good luck!