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All Posts in Category: Arthritis

Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Arthritis is a disease of the joints that often causes pain, inflammation, and loss of range of motion. It affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. Although the symptoms are fairly similar, there are many different kinds of arthritis, each with their own underlying causes. Some types of arthritis are more likely to run in families, whereas others may be linked to physically demanding jobs that involve repetitive motion or heavy lifting. Some types of arthritis are much more common in older adults, while others can affect children and adolescents. An injury or an infection can also be contributing factors in the development of arthritis.

One of the most common forms of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In contrast to another very common form of the disease, osteoarthritis, RA is not caused by everyday wear-and-tear, trauma, or a demanding occupation. Instead, RA leads to damage to the joint when the body’s antibodies mistakenly attack the joint capsule membrane, also known as the synovium. This leads to inflammation and the growth of fibrous tissue in the synovium, as well as excess fluid in the joint. These processes lead to the degeneration of cartilage and erosion of the bones in the joint. Although the exact mechanism of RA is not understood, it can be a debilitating disease that causes great damage to the body and severely reduces quality of life.

Treatment options for RA include physical therapy, gentle exercise, the use of special splints and braces, topical pain relief gels and creams, and the application of localized heat and cold. Additionally, there are many over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can help to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and improve range of motion. In severe cases of RA, the use of steroids can help to reduce swelling. Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), in contrast with drugs that simply alleviate symptoms, may actually slow the progression of joint damage in RA, and are especially useful when started soon after diagnosis.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Arthitis and Occupational Injuries

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Arthritis is accompanied by three main symptoms: joint pain, reduced mobility, and swelling of the affected joint. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the dominate types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells, leading to joint degeneration. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is caused by general wear-and-tear on the joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage – the tough, springy tissue that cushions the bones in a joint – is worn away or compromised. Osteoarthritis is common among older adults since simple aging often causes increased brittleness. Individuals who have a physically demanding occupation, an acute injury, or put repeated stress on a joint can are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Physically demanding jobs that require heavy lifting or repetitive motion such as construction workers, dancers, and athletes create extra strain on the joints. Also, retail, hospitality, and healthcare workers who spend much of the day on their feet are at increased risk. Preventive measures for arthritis involve proper stretching before and during activities to ease joints, in addition to taking frequent breaks to rest. Once arthritis has set in, there is no cure for completely getting rid of it, but there are options to ease symptoms. Treatment ranges from lifestyle changes to medications to surgical procedures depending on the severity of the ailment. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles and potentially stimulate cartilage growth. According to the CDC, women can greatly benefit from weight loss to relieve knee osteoarthritis. Diet is essential to health: vitamins C, E, and D are full of antioxidants that can help protect the body. Over-the-counter medications including Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Other mild forms of osteoarthritis can benefit from massages, acupuncture, physical therapy, ointments, and orthopedic soles. Severe arthritis can be treated with hyaluronic acid injections or joint replacement. Discuss with your physician the best treatment for your condition.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Cartilage Degeneration and Arthritis Over Time

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Arthritis is a common disease from which millions of Americans suffer. The term arthritis is used to define a variety of joint ailments that may have different causes and specific outcomes. Although the origins of arthritic joint disease are diverse, all of them have a few common symptoms: reduced mobility, pain, and swelling of the affected joint.

Arthritis affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. One of the most common forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is especially prevalent among older adults. While other forms of arthritis can be caused due to an autoimmune disease or infection, osteoarthritis is caused by simple wear-and-tear of the joints. A lifetime can damage the cartilage which forms a protective cushion between bones in joints. As people grow older they are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. Although the progression of arthritis can be hastened by trauma, such as an injury or an infection, it usually results from the normal prolonged activity.

The body is more resilient during youth and tissue has a greater ability to repair itself. As people age, however, the body becomes more susceptible to damage. Such is the case with cartilage: the tough, flexible tissue that protects bones becomes more brittle with age. As cartilage wears down, bones rub against each other within joints causing the characteristic symptoms of osteoarthritis. A majority of those over the age of seventy will suffer from osteoarthritis. Physical therapy, including stretching, exercise, and massages are effective in reducing pain and swelling. Topical creams and cold/hot packs can also provide some relief. Additionally, over-the-counter and prescription medications can help to alleviate symptoms.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Know the Symptoms: Infectious Arthritis

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Arthritis is a disease of the joints that affects as many as 50 million Americans each year. Its symptoms include pain, swelling, and compromised mobility in the affected joints, and can range from mild to debilitating. Although it is most common in older adults, people of all ages can develop arthritis. There are many different kinds of arthritis, each with its own causes and symptoms. Those who suffer from arthritis should work with their health care provider to find the most suitable treatments.

The underlying causes of symptoms vary between individuals. If joint symptoms are accompanied by fever, chills, or fatigue, or if severe joint pain appears very suddenly, they could be the result of infectious arthritis. Infectious arthritis occurs when an infectious agent (usually bacteria, but could also be a virus or  fungus) enters a joint through the blood stream. Infectious arthritis is an acute disease, meaning that it progresses rapidly which is quite different from other forms of chronic arthritis that develop slowly over time. It is most common in elderly adults, young children, and people with open wounds, such as those recovering from surgery.

Due to the swiftness of the infectious arthritis, it can quickly become a serious health issue if not treated promptly. Antibiotics are often prescribed in combination with procedures to remove fluid from the affected joint. Early detection is crucial to prevent the spread of infection and preserve the integrity of the joint. If joint pain, swelling, and loss of mobility is sudden and severe with fever like symptoms, contact primary physician immediately.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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Know the Symptoms: Osteoarthritis

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Arthritis is the name given to a group of disorders which affect the joints. There are many types of arthritis, each with their own underlying causes and slight variations in symptoms. However, most people with arthritis of any kind will experience some degree of pain, swelling, and compromised range of motion in the affected joint. Arthritis effects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, many forms of arthritis are more prevalent in older adults.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Although it may effect young people, it is most common in older individuals. In fact, the vast majority of people over the age of 70 exhibit some symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA). OA results from wear on the joints and a corresponding loss of cartilage, the tissue between bones in a joint that allows for flexibility and motion. Advanced age, injury to a joint, and obesity are the most prevalent underlying causes of the cartilage deterioration characteristic of OA. The most common symptom of OA is pain the affected joint. This pain is often worse after activity; playing sports or spending time on one’s feet at work, for example. Pain may also be associated with long periods of inactivity, such as sitting and watching a movie. Swelling and stiffness in the joint are also common in OA, and are often worse later in the day. Although OA can affect anyone, it is slightly more common than women in men, and sometimes has a genetic component. Its symptoms can range from barely noticeable to debilitating.

Although there is no cure for OA, it is possible to treat the symptoms to increase joint mobility and decrease pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, prescription medications, injections, and sometimes surgery can all be helpful. Other interventions, such as physical therapy, massage, and exercise, can also lessen the symptoms of OA and lead to improved quality of life for those who suffer from the disease.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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