Who is at risk for getting arthritis?
Anyone, at any point in time, can get arthritis. A lucky few never have to deal with arthritis at all. It just depends on you and your genetic makeup. You have a higher risk of suffering from arthritis if you:
- Are older
- Have arthritis in your family
- Are a woman
- Have bone spurs
- Catch a certain bacterial or viral infection
- Have a physically demanding job
- Are overweight or obese
- Have had a previous injury to the area
Are there different types of arthritis?
Yes. The broad “arthritis” term includes over 100 different types of conditions that all impact your joints. One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis. With this type of arthritis, the protective cartilage between your bones wears down. This can happen as a natural part of aging, although injuries are sometimes to blame for causing osteoarthritis.
With rheumatoid arthritis, another common type of arthritis, you have an underlying autoimmune disorder. Your body breaks down protective tissues and bone, leaving you with severe pain and swelling.
Gout affects many arthritis sufferers, too. When you have gout, you have excessive uric acid buildup in your body, which creates sharp crystal deposits in your joints. While gout most commonly affects men, women may also have gout.
What is the treatment for arthritis?
Your custom arthritis treatment plan is tailored to help improve your symptoms, without causing you any more pain or strain. It’s likely that you’ll need several types of treatments to help improve your arthritis symptoms. Your treatment may include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Daily exercises
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Recommended dietary supplements
Will I need surgery to treat arthritis?
Possibly, although surgery is always an absolute last resort if you haven’t gained relief from any other treatment option. Surgery to treat arthritis varies depending on the cause of your arthritis. For some, surgery includes removing damaged cartilage or connective tissue. If you have a case of arthritis that is so severe your joints are damaged or disfigured, you might need a joint replacement surgery. This type of surgery is most common for hip, shoulder, or knee damage.