Arthritis can be simply defined as inflammation of the joints. It is one of the ways that our body use to signal that there is something wrong within and external help is required. People suffering from arthritis may experience symptoms ranging from mild stiffness to excruciating pain in their joints.
All of us are susceptible to arthritis joint pain regardless of our lifestyle habits. Fitness enthusiasts are prone to arthritis as they utilize their joints more often and have higher chances of joint injuries. For the other group of us who are less active physically, arthritis might hit us due to the lack of activity. Lastly, the elderly population is more open to arthritis simply due to their old age and the principle of wear and tear effect.
Prevalence of arthritis
According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outlook of the arthritis situation does not paint a bright picture. It provides the following estimations:
- 22.7% of adults are diagnosed with arthritis
- 1 in every 250 children under the age of 18 suffers some form of arthritis
- By 2030, it is projected that 67 million adults will be suffering from various arthritis.
This disclosure made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as a stark warning to all of us regarding the prevalence of arthritis and highlights the need to education the general public regarding this disease.
What does arthritis feel like?
With more than 100 unique classifications of arthritis and each with different symptoms, it is rather hard to imagine what it feels like to be suffering from arthritis. In general, the onset of arthritis first presents itself as pain in the joints. Depending on the severity, the level of pain can range from a minor ache to an excruciating burning sensation. People suffering from arthritis have universally identified certain triggers of arthritis pain:
- Prolonged usage of a particular joint
- Sore and stiff joints first thing in the morning
- When the weather turns for the worse
As if the pain of arthritis isn’t enough, the body reacts to it by releasing more fluid to the joints in order to replace the missing cartilage. This synovium fluid is supposed to act as a soft support for the joints. Instead, it causes joints to become swollen and restricts mobility.
Health experts who have dealt with patients suffering from arthritis offered their insightful knowledge regarding the pain experience. They explained that most patients have commonly described each episode of joint pain as:
- Pain resonating from the core of the joint
- Pain gradually worsens as the day progresses
- Pain that affects the body’s normal sitting and standing posture
- Pain that changes the normal way of life
- Stiffness after prolonged periods of inactivity
- Restricted movements to the joint
- Feeling the friction between each joint as they grate against each other
- Inconsistent joint discomfort throughout the day
- Throbbing sensation in affected joints
As shown above, the level of pain and discomfort brought on by arthritis varies across each individual. Nonetheless, they are uni-vocal in one aspect; the presence of pain.
As arthritis has bugged us for many years, the healthcare industry has formulated many forms of treatment to deal with this urgent issue. While many innovative ideas are still in the development stage, arthritis patients tend to request for a few of the more popular joint pain treatments.
Health supplements / medications
Health supplements and medications provide a short-term solution to a long-term problem. While they are able to reduce the pain and swelling temporarily, it does not attempt to treat or cure arthritis.
Arthritis is a sign of weakness in the joints and physiotherapy seeks to strengthen these areas and speed up its recovery process. Nonetheless, this form of treatment is rather intricate as excessive pressure on the joint may cause more damage than good.
One of the last resort options for joint pain relief, surgery is only used in the most serious cases.
A refreshing alternative treatment as compared to the others above, practicing yoga helps us to manage the level of pain caused by the onset of arthritis. Different variations of yoga poses yield different results on the joints and participants can create their personal yoga schedule to cater to their needs.
The prevalence of arthritis has caught many of us by surprise and it highlights the urgent need for the general public to be educated about this disease. As all of us are susceptible to different forms of arthritis and the level of pain inflicted differs from each individual. However, each experience of arthritis is positively associated with the onset of pain.
Depending on the joint’s condition, the amount of pain can range from a dull ache to a full blown excruciating pain. Fortunately, many forms of treatments are at our disposal. While health supplements and medications provide a temporary solution, the option of surgery is a permanent cure that is only reserved for the most severe cases.
In conclusion, arthritis will only continue to affect more people and the only way to be proactive towards the situation is by ensuring that more people are aware of its existence. Through different forms of education and publication, more people will be better equipped with cope with this disease.