Before learning about the ways to ease arthritis, it is important to know more about what it is and how it affects the body.
What is Arthritis?
The term “arthritis” can refer to conditions that mainly affect your joints. Generally, arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints.
Joints are usually located between bones, so that the human body can do a wider range of movement. Without joints, you would not be able to bend your elbow or knees.
When a person has arthritis, there can be pain associated with movements involving the use of joints.
Although arthritis can affect people of all ages, it is most prevalent among adults who are 40 years old and older. Data shows that you are more at risk of developing arthritis if you are a woman, or if you are someone who has family members who suffer from arthritis.
What Causes Arthritis?
The cause of arthritis depends on the types of arthritis which affect the joints in different ways. The two main types of arthritis are the following:
Osteoarthritis (OA), or sometimes referred to as “wear and tear arthritis,” mainly affects the cartilage on the end of bones, where joints are formed. Worn out cartilages can cause bones to directly rub against each other during movements, which can cause pain and stiffness. Joints that are most prone to osteoarthritis are the neck and lower back, hands, knees, and hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means that your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues. When a person has RA, their immune system attacks the lining of the joints. Over time, this can cause deformity of the joins or even erosion of the bone.
One defining feature of RA is prolonged stiffness in the morning, which may last for a few hours or the entire day. What makes RA an especially serious form of arthritis is that it can also affect other body systems like the skin, blood vessels, lungs, or even the heart.