Arthritis: Prevention, Care and Treatment

Arthritis:  Prevention, Care and Treatment

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Good medical morning! This is Watson and today we are going to talk about Arthritis, but before we get started can you answer this trivia question.

What celebrity has debilitating arthritis?

A) Pink
B) Jack Nicholson
C) Kathleen Turner
D) Cheech Marin

Stick around for the end of the video for that answer.

Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

That’s what happens with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA attacks and damages joints. This leads to swelling, pain, inflammation, and possibly joint deformity.

Let’s look at some examples of arthritis.

Show several examples

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic. Risk factors include excess weight, family history, age and previous injury (an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear, for example).

Juvenile arthritis (JA) by contrast is not a disease in itself. Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.

Although the various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms. Some types of juvenile arthritis affect the musculoskeletal system, but joint symptoms may be minor or nonexistent. Juvenile arthritis can also involve the eyes, skin, muscles and gastrointestinal tract.

When the joint symptoms of osteoarthritis are mild or moderate, they can be managed by:

balancing activity with rest

using hot and cold therapies

regular physical activity

maintaining a healthy weight

strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support

using assistive devices

taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines

avoiding excessive repetitive movements

ON SCREEN – What Can Be Done About Arthritis?

There are many things that can be done to preserve joint function, mobility and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease. The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving all people with arthritis. Its website, arthritis.org, has many resources for learning about arthritis, practical tips for daily living and more.

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