A Brief Introduction to Arthritis

Some diseases are specific to childhood, and other diseases impact only adults. Arthritis, however, is a condition that can affect both children and adults. In the United States, approximately 1 out of 4 adults, or about 54.4 million people, are known to have arthritis. About 300,000 children and teens in the U.S. have been found to have juvenile arthritis (also referred to as pediatric rheumatic disease).

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis refers to tenderness and swelling in one or multiple joints. The area of the body where two bones of the skeleton meet is known as a joint, and the tissues around the joints can be affected as well. While rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two of the most common forms of arthritis, over 100 types of arthritis exist. Although the specific symptoms can vary according to the particular type of arthritis that is present, people typically experience stiffness and pain in and around the joints that are impacted. In most cases, individuals will benefit from arthritis pain management Jersey City NJ.

How Is Arthritis Treated?

While curing the underlying condition may not always be possible, treatment generally has the goals of preventing further damage to any of the joints, improving the patient’s ability to function, and reducing the amount of inflammation and pain that is experienced. Lifestyle changes, especially those that involve an individualized program, can be effective for many individuals with arthritis; some possible changes include getting regular exercise, enrolling in physical therapy, taking medication (prescription or over-the-counter), and having surgery in order to repair, replace, or fuse certain joints.

What Can Be Added or Avoided?

Avoiding tobacco products, or reducing their use, can be beneficial. As well, individuals with arthritis may find it helpful to avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. For some people, incorporating the use of assistive devices into their daily routine can lead to improvements in their performance. Devices such as walkers, canes, shoe inserts, and raised toilet seats can promote independence, protection of the joints, and a positive outlook regarding the future.