Contrary to popular discourse, arthritis is not a condition that affects only the elderly. In fact, it is a condition that millions of Americans—of different ages and genders—currently suffer from. In the main, arthritis is experienced as a form of stiffness and pain in and around the joints. These symptoms can, however, be alleviated by both medicine and positive lifestyle changes (primarily exercise).
Arthritis: The Nuances
As we stated, arthritis is a medical condition that is experienced as pain—and specifically—a pain that affects one’s joints. But arthritis exists in different types, which are attended by different symptoms and require different methods of treatment. The following are the three main subtypes that arthritis adopts:
- OA or Osteoarthritis: OA is often referred to as degenerative joint disease, and is the kind of arthritis that is most often diagnosed by medical professionals. The parts of the body that are most often affected by OA include the knees, hips and lower back. Osteoarthritis can develop at a variety of different ages, but develops most often around 40 years of age.
- RA or Rheumatoid arthritis: RA is a form of arthritis that is born from the inflammation of the lining of one’s joints. When this lining becomes swollen or inflamed, sever joint pain is experienced. RA affects, most commonly, smaller joints like wrists and fingers.
- JA or Juvenile arthritis: JA resembles other forms of arthritis but is distinguished by how it is developed by younger persons. Indeed, JA is developed by people under the age of 18. JA is a condition that can strike a wide range of body parts, including: ankles, wrists, hips, neck and shoulders. And while there are different types of JA, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is its most popular form.
Treatment: The Evolution of Treatment Methods and Treatment Options
Though arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes severe and chronic pain, the medical professional world has come a long way in the treatment methods it now offers. Initially, OA was treated simply by aspiring and makeshift splints. Indeed, the pained joint would be bandaged in order to better support it.
Now, a more holistic approach to treating any and all forms of arthritis has been established as the most effective way of dealing with the condition. Exercise has now been identified as a key component to treating arthritis, particularly as arthritis has been correlated with the obesity epidemic. Biolgic drugs—namely, Humira and Enbrel—have also presented a novel way of dealing with the disease in its beginning stages. Indeed, Dr. Rosian claims that these new biologic drugs can be very effective in addressing the disease directly and sometimes even putting it into remission.
Just because arthritis is what we think of as a chronic condition, this is not to say that it cannot be improved or treated in a highly effective manner. If you suffer from arthritis, consult a physician and inform yourself about the variegated treatment methods open to you.