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What is Arthritis? Separating the Facts from the Fiction

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There are more than 200 different kinds of arthritis, with symptoms not limited to joint pain and swelling. The symptoms for some people include fatigue, psoriasis, or even mouth ulcers, depending on the type of arthritis.

It is often thought of in terms of painful hands and creaky knees, but the true impact of arthritis on daily life is often underestimated.

The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

For many people living with arthritis in the UK, 8 out of 10 experience pain most days and 6 out of 10 suffer from it every day.

There is also the social cost of arthritis; many sufferers are concerned about the impact of their condition on their families. ‘I feel like I’m holding my husband back’, is a common concern.

Many sufferers may alter their career or limit their work. The pain and impact caused by arthritis can also lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis affecting at least 8 million people in the UK. Though almost anyone can get it, it is more prevalent amongst women who are in their late 40s or older and in people who are overweight.

Exercise, to maintain and strengthen joint function, is an effective way of managing the condition. It happens when the surfaces within the joints become damaged so that the joint fails to move as smoothly as it should.

The idea that osteoarthritis is an inevitable consequence of ageing and that it cannot be helped is a myth. It is not a condition that progresses inevitably and there are lots of things that can help. It is largely about trying to restore and maintain normal joint function.

This means that exercising and moving the joint to strengthen it and the muscle around it, for instance by doing squats or lunges, is important. Exercise may seem counterintuitive but pain and damage are not the same thing. For joints to repair and replace tissue effectively it is necessary to use a full range of motion together with light power. ‘If you rest, you rust.’

This is why chiropractic is so important for those seeking to limit arthritic processes. Chiropractic care is based around ensuring proper movement and function of gait and so fits hand in glove with the idea of maintaining good joint movement.

Arthritic joints are part of a chain of movement. Full consideration of the joints around the damaged joint is essential in ensuring that the undamaged joints are not undertaking unnecessary load because other joints are failing to function as they should.

Chiropractic also helps by allowing core muscles and joint stabilising muscles to fire accurately, thus producing a smooth and clean movement that reduces the load to a joint and stimulates healing.

For those who suffer from arthritic conditions, we have very safe, low force techniques that can promote movement without putting strain on the arthritic joints. Suggest your friend calls our office to discuss any concerns.

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