Nearly half of us will experience some form of arthritis during our lifetime. It is one of the biggest contributors to joint pain causing inflammation and stiffness. This disease has most sufferers in a “catch 22” – movement is painful, so movement is limited but with limited or less movement come muscles that atrophy and become weak. This then provides less support for the joints making arthritis and its symptoms worse. While there are lots of things we can do to reduce the risk of developing arthritis or prevent/ delay the onset, sometimes we can end up living with it and looking for ways to cope and reduce the symptoms.
Osteo and Rheumatoid are among the most common forms. Osteoarthritis is more likely to affect joints that have dealt with a lot of stress such as knees and hips. As a result the loss and damage of articular cartilage occurs which unfortunately leaves us with bone on bone contact sometimes causing a painful grinding sensation. Other factors such as inflammation, swelling and new bone formation result in narrowing of the joint space making movement more painful and difficult.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease when our immune system attacks our own tissues including the joints and all the tissues within such as the synovial membranes, which again results in inflammation, swelling and pain.