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Arthritis: This is Everything You Need to Know

March 07, 2019 in Arthritis

Download the Free Arthritis Pain Management Plan

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a broad term used to describe pain and inflammation in the joints. It can be a localized or a widespread condition that can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, each with different causes and treatment methods.¹ That said, there are two types that are the most common: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis (OA):

The most common form of the condition. This occurs when protective cartilage between bones wears down. As a result, bone rubs on bone causing painful friction. Even though osteoarthritis can affect any joint, it is very common in the knees, hips and spine

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA):

A progressive auto-immune disorder that causes pain and widespread inflammation in the joints. Auto-immune refers to a condition in which the body's immune system attacks healthy body parts by mistake.²

Download the Free Arthritis Pain Management Plan

The Arthritis Pain Management Plan was designed and written with the overall health and well-being of a person suffering from arthritis. The plan includes:

  • Diet and meal plan suggestions
  • Aerobic and strength training exercises
  • Sleep better guide
  • De-stress and mental well-being tips
  • Pain management tips
  • And more!

What are the Common Symptoms?

Even though there are many different types of arthritis pain, there are general symptoms that usually bring on a diagnosis. These common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Redness of the skin around the joints

In the case of RA, these symptoms also may arise:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint deformity (if left untreated)
  • Slight fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's very important to discuss them with your doctor. The earlier arthritis is diagnosed, the better the condition can be managed.

arthritis symptoms

What Causes Arthritis?

Arthritis pain can arise due to a number of different factors. It's often traced to family history, general wear and tear and other external factors like body weight, previous injuries and joint issues. When it comes to OA, the most common causes are age and general wear and tear. Over time, the cartilage meant to protect the joints can wear away. Too much bodyweight can also speed up this process because of the added pressure body weight puts on the joints.

Where Does it Hurt?

Arthritis pain, stiffness and swelling most commonly occur in these areas:

  • Neck
  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders
  • Ankles

How Do Medical Professionals Diagnose Arthritis?

An accurate arthritis diagnosis is the first step towards being able to treat, relieve and manage the symptoms. First off, your doctor will listen to your description of the pain and will pinpoint its location. They will then most often perform a physical examination, checking for swollen and inflamed joints as well as evidence of a decreasing range of motion.

X-rays and blood tests also play major roles in determining the type of arthritis a person has. X-rays are very helpful for diagnosing OA, as they can reveal where cartilage has worn away and if any bones are rubbing up against bone. When it comes to RA, blood tests are often used. This is because many people with RA have specific antibodies in their blood which will signal the condition.

What Medications are Used for Arthritis Treatment?

The type of medications used for arthritis vary significantly based on the severity and the nature of the condition. Generally, though, the goal is to reduce inflammation and reduce the amount of pain the sufferer is feeling. Some common medications that are used are:

  • NSAIDs (Anti-inflammatory painkillers)
  • Acetaminophen and other over-the-counter analgesics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Hyaluronan injections
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Biologic therapy

It's important to discuss any potential over-the-counter or prescription drugs with your doctor first. They will be able to suggest the course of action that is right for your symptoms.

What are Some Other Ways to Find Relief?

It's crucial that any attempt to manage arthritis not only includes medication. While medication can be very helpful, living a healthy lifestyle can also go a long way towards relieving pain and improving your quality of life. With that in mind, some ways to manage the condition are:

  • Getting eight hours of sleep per night
  • Stress relief (such as meditation)
  • A healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Exercise (strength training, stretching, aerobics)

Are There Any Drug-Free Relief Methods?

There are also non-invasive, drug-free medical practices that can help to relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis. While these methods won't heal the condition, they will help you manage it on a day-to-day basis.

What are Some Pain-Relieving Exercises?

Although arthritis pain may discourage motivation to participate in physical activity, it's been proven that physical activity can help to reduce symptoms and being inactive can make pain symptoms worse. Some of the most effective arthritis exercises are:

  • Pool exercises (water aerobics, light swimming)
  • Stretching
  • Mild strength training
  • Walking
  • Stationery cycling

Is There a Diet For Arthritis Sufferers?

Diet alone can't cure arthritis. That said, there is a diet that helps manage inflammation while also encouraging weight loss and more energy. That diet is the Mediterranean Diet. It's one that focuses on healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and a significant reduction in sugar and bad fats. Some components of a Mediterranean Diet are:

  • Healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, seeds, avocados)
  • Fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes

Are There Any Support Systems or Resources for Arthritis Sufferers?

Arthritis is an incredibly common condition worldwide. If there's one silver lining to this fact, it's that there are well-established support groups and resources to help sufferers find information or find support. If you have arthritis, here are some organizations to look into:

What Have We Learned?

Arthritis is a broad term used to describe pain and inflammation in the joints. It can be a localized or a widespread condition that can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis that can affect the body.

While it's a painful condition, arthritis can be managed and dealt with through a combination of medical attention, a healthy lifestyle and alternative, non-invasive therapies. Finally, being educated, having access to resources, and maintaining a support system can further help individuals face their symptoms and live a healthy and happy life.

Download the Free Arthritis Pain Management Plan

Download the Free Arthritis Pain Management Plan

More Information on Arthritis:

  1. 6 Unexpected Ways to Help Ease Arthritis Pain
  2. Arthritis Diet: Is There an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
  3. Tips & Tricks for At-Home Arthritis Pain Management
  4. 3 Reasons Why People With Arthritis Should Try Supplements
  5. 5 At-Home Knee Exercises for Arthritis 
  6. Arthritis Symptoms: What are the Common Symptoms?
  7. Arthritis Management: How Can I Relieve Arthritis Pain At Home?
  8. How to Quickly Ease Arthritis in the Knees 
  9. 5 Simple Hand Exercises to Help Joint Pain and Arthritis
  10. TENS Placement Chart for Arthritis
  11. Arthritis Exercises: What Are The Best Exercises For Arthritis?
  12. A Guide to Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
  13. 7 Foods to Help Curb Arthritis Pain
  14. Can Supplements Really Help with Arthritis Pain?
  15. At Home Exercises for Arthritis Sufferers
  16. Is it Okay to Workout with Arthritis?
  17. 7 Simple Ways to Help Prevent Arthritis at Home
  18. The Ultimate Diet for Joint Pain and Arthritis Sufferers
  19. How to Quickly Ease Arthritis in the Knees
  20. 3 Reasons Why People With Arthritis Should Try Joint Supplements
  21. Which Foods Make Arthritis Worse?


  1. Arthritis: Causes, Signs, and Diagnosis. https://www.healthline.com/health/arthritis
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