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Arthritis

Arthritis is the name given to a number of different conditions that affect your muscles, bones and joints. Arthritis actually affects nearly 1 in 5 Australians and there are over 100 different types of arthritis. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

 

 

  • Osteoarthritis - affects your entire joint, including the muscles, bone, ligaments and cartilage. It can occur within any joint but commonly affects your knees and hips.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of your joints. An autoimmune disease mistakenly believes that your healthy tissue and cells are unhealthy and attempts to fight against them. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your body attacks your joints causing them to become inflamed and damaged.
  • Gout - is a common form of arthritis that occurs when small crystals form in and around your joints causing swelling, inflammation and soreness. These small crystals are formed naturally from the waste products our bodies produce. In people with gout, these crystals are not eliminated naturally from your body and build up in and around your joints.

 


Symptoms
Arthritis can affect anyone and the signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. Different types of arthritis also have different associated symptoms. Common symptoms that occur with all types of arthritis include:

  • pain,
  • stiffness,
  • swelling,
  • inflammation, and
  • reduced movement.

 


Management
Currently, there is no cure for arthritis but arthritic symptoms can be managed to help alleviate any discomfort you may experience. As symptoms vary from person to person and between different types of arthritis, treatment will also vary. Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis, the severity of your arthritis and the parts of the body your arthritis affects. Management options include:

  • medical treatment and medications from your qualified health professional,
  • physiotherapy,
  • staying active to maintain strength and flexibility of your muscles and joints,
  • protecting your joints during exercise and everyday activities,
  • eating a well balanced diet which is rich in unsaturated fatty acids to help decrease inflammation, and
  • reducing any extra weight that may put additional pressure on your muscles and joints.

 


Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

Better Health Channel

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Arthritis

 

Arthritis Australia

http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information.html

 

Arthritis Victoria

http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/What-is-Arthritis