May 5

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month

The Main Types of Arthritis and How to Treat Them

May has been recognized as National Arthritis Awareness Month. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this joint disorder affects more than 50 million Americans. With nearly one in five adults and 300,000 children and teens suffering, arthritis has become the nation’s number one cause of disability. Although there are different types of arthritis with many different causes, there are two main types of arthritis. But what are the most common types of arthritis and how can they be treated at Shakthi Health & Wellness Center?

Types of Arthritis

The two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis, also known degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis, is one of the most common chronic joint conditions. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage, or cushioning, between the joints breaks down and causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and overall problems with moving the joint. As osteoarthritis worsens over time, the bones break down and can develop bone spurs as bits of bone and cartilage chip off and float around the joint. In the body, an inflammatory process occurs as cytokines proteins and enzymes develop causing further damage to the cartilage. The final stage occurs when the cartilage is completely worn away and it becomes bone-on-bone, leading to joint damage and extreme pain. This type of arthritis is more common in elderly patients. But there are some common risk factors that could cause this type of arthritis in other patients as well, including age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genetics.
  • Inflammatory arthritis is caused by a group of diseases that are characterized by inflammation of the joints and other tissues. This group of conditions includes rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). Inflammatory arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease and is characterized by pain, swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the joints. While genetics do play an important role in this type of arthritis, genes alone do not cause these diseases. Factors like infectious agents, stress, cigarettes, and hormones can also cause inflammatory arthritis. Depending on the specific form of inflammatory arthritis, symptoms could include skin rashes, eye inflammation, hair loss, dry mouth, and fever.

National Arthritis Awareness Month with Shakthi Health & Wellness Center

When treating your arthritis, using an integrated approach of both medications and natural therapies can help ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Most medications for arthritis pain includes anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, but some of them can even modify the body’s natural responses to help ease the discomfort. If you are looking for natural therapies to help relieve your symptoms, Shakthi offers a wide variety of treatments for your arthritis. These treatments range from taking natural herbal supplements to seeing a nutritionist to acupuncture and even aquatic therapy. Taking herbal supplements can work to modify the body’s natural responses and boost the immune systems while changing your diet to include healthy fats and oils can work to reduce inflammation. Patients have also seen positive results when using acupuncture for their arthritis. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture has been known to help patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Other therapies like UV sauna treatments, yoga, and aquatic therapy can also be used to lessen inflammation and discomfort.

There are many different treatments that can be used to help ease your discomfort from arthritis. For more information on easing your discomfort, schedule an appointment with Shakthi Health & Wellness today!



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