You have heard about arthritis before, and you may know several things about it, but there are some facts that might surprise you. This article covers 10 facts that people don’t always realize when they talk about arthritis. Could one of these be something you didn’t know?
1. People usually have to deal with joint pain for at least a year before their doctor recognizes it as arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in your joints, which can make them stiff and difficult to move. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are many others (such as gout).
Arthritis pain usually gets worse over time if it isn’t treated properly. It affects more than 50 million Americans every year, making it one of the leading causes of disability in people under age 65. However, it’s possible to lessen your discomfort with joint pain without relying on prescription drugs or surgery.
But you don’t have to live with joint pain – there are many strategies you can use at home or work that may help reduce your discomfort without relying on prescription drugs or surgery.
If you’re reading this article because someone recently diagnosed with arthritis has asked for your advice about how best to deal with their new diagnosis. There’s good news: there are lots of things we can do ourselves rather than waiting for medications from doctors on the first try before finding relief!
One thing I’ve found helpful when working through new challenges such as these – especially ones involving chronic illness such as this one (which is often caused by poor lifestyle choices in younger years) – is taking responsibility for ourselves rather than blaming someone else.”
2. The exact cause of arthritis is unknown
The exact cause of arthritis is unknown. Some of the factors that may contribute to developing arthritis include:
- Genetics: There is a strong genetic component in some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. In other types, such as osteoarthritis (the most common form), genetics only play a minor role in determining whether you’ll develop the condition or not.
- Hormones: Sex hormones may also play a role in developing certain forms of arthritis; for example, spondyloarthritis is more common in women than men because it’s thought that this type may be triggered by changes in their reproductive hormone levels during puberty or pregnancy.
3. Painkillers aren’t the only way to help manage symptoms of arthritis
Painkillers are not the only way to manage symptoms of arthritis. Many people take painkillers on a daily basis, but there are other things you can do to help manage your pain and keep it under control.
One important thing is keeping a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Getting enough sleep is also very important as short periods of sleep deprive the body of restful recovery time, leading to higher stress levels that can exacerbate existing arthritis symptoms in some people.
Another treatment option is acupuncture or massage therapy (which may also be referred to as physiotherapy). These treatments have been shown to help ease chronic pain by stimulating specific points on the body while relaxing tense muscles at the same time, which helps improve blood circulation throughout your body while reducing stress levels overall – both very helpful for relieving arthritis symptoms!
4. Arthritis doesn’t affect every joint equally
- Ankles and knees are the most commonly affected joints.
- Wrists and fingers tend to be affected less often.
- The hip and shoulder joints are not usually affected by arthritis.
5. It’s possible that drinking too much coffee can make it harder to get rid of arthritis
It is possible that drinking too much coffee can make it harder to get rid of arthritis.
Caffeine can increase inflammation and pain in the joints, which are both signs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a 2018 study published in the journal Rheumatology International.
It’s also been shown that there may be some benefits from caffeine intake: one small study found that drinking coffee was associated with a decrease in symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).
6. Applying heat can help decrease inflammation and ease the pain
Heat therapy can help decrease inflammation and ease the pain. Heat therapy is usually better than cold for arthritis symptoms because it allows the joints to relax more easily.
You can use heat therapy yourself by applying warm towels or heating pads to the affected area, but your physical therapist can also apply heat in the form of hot packs, heated tables, paraffin baths, and ultrasound machines.
It’s best to use heat for no more than 20 minutes at a time – unless otherwise directed by a doctor or physical therapist – and only two to three times per day at most.
If you experience excessive sweating or any other discomfort that suggests you should stop using the heat source immediately; if pain worsens; or if swelling increases while using this method of treatment (as opposed to when not using it).
7. Wearing shoes may increase pain and hinder walking
- Wearing high heels or shoes that aren’t the right size could cause pain or discomfort.
- If you wear the wrong shoes with inflexible and hard soles, this can also result in uneasiness and pain.
8. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs are used to help manage arthritis pain
Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used medications for arthritis pain management. NSAIDs reduce pain and swelling by reducing the production of inflammatory chemicals in your body.
The most common side effects of NSAIDs include indigestion, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and stomach bleeding. These can be controlled by lowering or stopping the dose or changing to another medication.
9. A healthy diet may help prevent bone loss and improve joint function
You may want to consider a diet that helps reduce inflammation and contains anti-inflammatory foods. This can include:
- Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring
- Whole grains, such as oats and brown rice
- Fruit like strawberries and oranges (not to mention the vitamin C content)
The following should be avoided:
- Sugar or sweetened drinks can lead to excess weight gain which puts pressure on your joints. The same is true for trans fats found in processed food items such as cakes, biscuits, pastries etcetera. Trans fats also have an impact on your cholesterol levels which increases the risk of heart disease in people with arthritis
10. Arthritis treatment may vary depending on what works for you
It’s important to talk to your doctor or physiotherapist about the best options for you, as each individual has a different experience with arthritis. They will consider your symptoms, overall health, and lifestyle when discussing treatment. Discussing what works for you may include:
- Staying active
- Keeping in touch with loved ones
- Using assistive devices like canes or walkers if needed
As well as these approaches, there are also some more medical treatments that can be used to help ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen)
- Corticosteroid injections
Hope this guide can help you alleviate some of your arthritis symptoms.