The word ‘arthritis’ immediately conjures up the thought of pain, but there are other symptoms that will signify arthritis developing in your body. If you seek early treatment, symptoms can be kept to a minimum.
1 in 6 Australians has arthritis. These are 4 tell-tale warning indicators.
1. JOINT PAIN
Unsurprisingly arthritis is the most prominent cause of pain and disability in the world. Pain tends to worsen over time and vary in intensity. The ‘wear and tear’ type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis (OA) and derives from repetitive use over the years. The cartilage at the end of your joints cushions motion, but deterioration results in bone grinding on bone. Most OA sufferers will get joint pain in their hips and knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) stems from a faulty immune system response. If you have RA and experience pain in, say, your left foot, then you will also feel pain in your right foot.
It is very common for pain to be harsher during the night. Often you will have no pain in the morning, but it worsens as the day progresses.
Aching, grating, grinding, hot, throbbing sensations are attributed to arthritic pain. Some people are unfortunate enough to have pain so intense and excruciating, they can think of nothing else. With OA, knee and hip replacements are common to remove the pain, but because RA is an inflammatory disease, doctors will recommend anti-inflammatory medications and steroids.
Naturopaths recommend nutraceuticals such as turmeric and apple cider vinegar. Both products are available from Turmeric Australia.com.au.
Temporary relief can be obtained by using either heat packs or ice packs.
Pain will be felt deep in the joint. You will feel better with rest, but when you get out of the chair, the pain may cause limping as the bones grate together. Pain will interfere with daily activities, and it is important to avoid high impact activity such as running. Everyday activities will hurt, leading to pessimism, so try to avoid focussing only on the pain as this may lead to depression. There is no disputing that pain has a negative effort of your mood and overall wellbeing.
Arthritis pain can be prolonged for your lifetime. It may be constant, or it may ebb and ease.
2. JOINT STIFFNESS
Often the stiffness is worse first thing in the morning, until you can get your feet on the floor and move. Also, if you have been sitting for a lengthy period and you get up out of the chair, your joints will experience stiffness. A tip for you to relieve that stiffness in your knees. Sit on a bar stool each day, and freely swing your legs for 10 minutes.
Gentle, slow movements throughout the day is best. Limbering up finger joints can be done by holding your fingers outstretched on a flat surface for about a minute and repeat five times.
As you age joints stiffen due to deterioration in the ligaments and tendons. And that cartilage cushion thins. Low impact exercise, such as walking, is highly recommended.
3. JOINT SWELLING AND REDNESS
Especially common in OA, RA, psoriatic arthritis and gout, joint swelling occurs when tissue fluid increases around the joints. High levels of uric acid in your body produces gout. Men are more likely to develop gout, while women are more prone to RA. Usually the affected joints will be warm to touch, which signifies the inflammation occurring – not an infection.
Nodules will start appearing on your fingers and toes. Called Heberden’s nodes, these hard, bony lumps grow closest to your fingertip.
A usual occurrence of inflammation, the joint skin will appear red and can increase and decrease as the swelling level changes. The joint can be tender to touch. X-rays will quickly discern what type of arthritis you have.
4. DECREASED RANGE OF MOTION
Your ability to move about normally becomes impacted. One day you may bend down on the floor and find that you have no push power in your knees to get back up and have to resort to using the strength in your arms to pull yourself up.
Arthritis varies broadly from person to person so while there is no cure for arthritis, symptoms can be relieved. Excessive weight puts stress on your weight bearing joints, so do your best to reduce the kilos.
Apple cider vinegar comprises of pectin, acetic and malic acid which help absorb toxins. By dissolving the acid crystals that build up around the joint, apple cider vinegar reduces pain and stiffness.
Turmeric has centuries of renown medicinal anti-inflammatory properties. It is the curcumin component that reduces the inflammation. Check Turmeric Australia.com.au for both products.