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Arthritis Pain – Minimizing and Coping
While many older people do have arthritis, it’s not a disease limited to the old. Some forms of arthritis affect infants, and many people are stricken in the prime of their lives. The common denominator for all these conditions is joint and musculoskeletal pain, which is why they are grouped together as ‘arthritis.’ Often that pain is a result of inflammation of the joint lining.
The joints most commonly affected by arthritis are weight-bearing joints, such as feet, knees, hips and spine. Other joints, such as finger and thumb joints, may also be affected.
There are more than 100 different conditions associated with arthritis and can be anything from relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in ‘tennis elbow’) and bursitis to crippling systemic forms, such as rheumatoid arthritis. What people don’t often realize is that there are forms of the disease, such as gout, whcih is virtually never connected with arthritis
Approximately the same percentage of men and women have arthritis, however, it tends to affect each differently. For men, the symptoms are more likely to appear in the hips, wrist and spine, while in women it is more likely to appear in hands, knees, ankles and feet. Women are more likely to experience symptoms in more than one joint than are men.
While age is commonly associated with arthritis, it is not the cause. Injury from earlier in life can now reappear as arthritis. There is also the possibility of a hereditary link.
Obesity and arthritis have been linked through various studies . The excess weight creates extra stress on weight-bearing joints, particularly the knees. Reducing weight by only 10 to 15 pounds can help reduce pain in hips and knees.
Lack of Physical Activity
Understandably, Arthritis sufferers commonly avoid exercise as a result of their sensations of pain and stiffness. Engaging in activity however may created feelings of improvement and can prevent the symptoms from worsening.
A variety of products have been identified by Physicians and the Canadian Arthritis Society as items known to be helpful to those suffering from arthritis. A sampling of those products include the following:
Hot/Cold Therapy Systems
Aids To Daily Living and Assistive Devices
- Dressing aids such as long handled shoe horn or sock aid
- Pen grips and large handled utensils
- Specialty keyboards
- Leisure items such as card holders or card shufflers
- light weight vacuum cleaners
- Using items such as a steamer instead of an iron.
- Eating and cooking utensils
- Walkers and Canes
- Lift chairs or uplift seats