Arthritis is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people in Australia. While it can impact any joint in the body, there are certain areas where it tends to have the biggest impact. As well as exploring these areas, we want to also provide advice for those with arthritis.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints throughout the body. It can be caused by wear and tear on the joints, age-related changes to the joint, injury, or infection. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis – Firstly, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and tends to affect older adults. It develops when the protective cartilage between joints wears down over time, which can cause pain and swelling.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – Secondly, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks your own joint tissue due to a malfunctioning immune system. The disease can cause inflammation, pain, and swelling in the hands, feet, wrists, knees and other joints.
Where Does Arthritis Impact the Most?
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it tends to have a greater impact on some areas than others. Commonly affected areas are the knees, hands, hips, and feet.
The Knees – Arthritis of the knee is very common and can cause pain and swelling in the joint. It’s especially frequent in people over 50 years old who have had a previous injury to the knee or those who are overweight.
The Hands – Osteoarthritis of the hand is a common form of arthritis and can affect any joint in the hand, including those between the fingers. Over time, this can cause pain and limited mobility in the affected area. Suddenly, tasks that were once simple can become difficult and even painful.
The Hips – Hip arthritis is a common condition, particularly in people over 50 years old. It can cause pain when standing or walking, as well as difficulty getting up from a sitting position or climbing stairs. In some cases, the range of motion in the joint can decrease significantly.
The Feet – Lastly, arthritis can also affect the feet. It often affects the big toe, causing pain and swelling in this area. In extreme cases, arthritis of the feet can cause deformity and difficulty walking.
Ultimately, arthritis can impact any joint in the body, but it is most commonly found in these areas. Whenever you have an issue with the joints, it’s wise to contact professional services like Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists.
Dealing with Arthritis
If you notice even a slight change in the mobility of any joints, it’s important to see a doctor because early diagnosis and treatment are key for most types of arthritis. Treatment may include physical therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or surgery depending on the severity and type of arthritis.
It is also important to stay active as much as possible and practice proper posture when standing and sitting. This can help reduce stiffness and pain as well as maintain joint flexibility. Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is also essential for reducing inflammation.
Overall, arthritis can have a major impact on your life if it is not addressed early on in the process. It’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of arthritis and to consult with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of them. With the right treatment plan, you can keep the condition under control for the long term.