Arthritis is a general term that speaks to joint pain and stiffness. The cause can be many. It can be due to basic wear and tear known as degenerative arthritis, trauma leading to damage and pain, or it can be caused by inflammation.

It’s estimated that osteoarthritis affects more than 27 million men and women over the age of 25 in the United States. It’s a leading cause of disability in adult Americans.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Causes

The most common type of Arthritis is Osteoarthritis and is because the cartilage that covers the joints are worn down and the bones rub against one another causing pain and stiffness. Repetitive motion injury or trauma leading to damage of a joint are also a common cause. Inflammatory arthritis can be caused by a variety of mostly autoimmune group of diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriasis etc. It can also be caused by elevated uric acid crystals in joints causing gouty arthritis.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Prevention

Appropriate weight, regular exercise that strengthens our muscles and joints, maintaining our flexibility through tai chi and yoga.

An anti-inflammatory lifestyle of good nutrition, exercise, stress management and sleep hygiene will support your immune system so it does not go into overdrive. People with familial tendency towards autoimmune disorders especially should lead a lifestyle that supports your immune system.

People who have medical history of arthritis due to increased crystals like uric acid gout should consider a low purine diet.

Some supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, omega 3 fatty acids, turmeric, Boswellia are also thought to be beneficial. Be sure that you obtain your supplements from a reputable company who can provide appropriate data to support their purity.

Dr. Geni Abraham

Management

Nutrition : An anti-inflammatory diet, whole foods, plant based which controls your weight

Exercise : The most beneficial exercise is the one you can do based on your capacity to exercise. Commonly swimming, walking in the pool, chair-based exercises, biking, yoga and tai chi are helpful and suggested. Physical therapy is also very important to focus in on the affected joint.

Pain Management : Speak to your doctor regarding pain control. There are over the counter options, anti-inflammatories, topicals that can help with pain.

Medication Management :   It is dependent on the type of arthritis we are dealing with. This is best discussed with your doctor. The main goal is preservation of function and reduce joint destruction. When the loss of function and pain is advanced a joint replacement surgery is recommended.

Dr. Geni Abraham

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