What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects up to 30 million Americans. Are you one of them? As you may already know arthritis can sometimes be caused by genetics. This means that if someone in your immediate family suffers from arthritis then you are more likely to develop arthritis, too. Arthritis also tends to affect people as they age (people over the age of 50 are most at risk); however, it is not completely impossible for children or even young adults to develop arthritis.
Other causes of arthritis include:
- If you’ve had a specific injury in the past that you have ignored or haven’t properly treated (as sometimes happens with athletes)
- You suffered from a bacterial or viral infection that attacks the joints (e.g. Lyme disease; pneumonia)
- Taking certain prescription drugs
- Being born with an autoimmune disorder
There are also many different kinds of arthritis that can affect joints throughout your body including:
- Osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Traumatic arthritis
If you notice swelling in your joints, pain or tenderness in the joints, skin redness, limited mobility, stiffness (particularly in the morning) or any changes to the skin then it’s time to seek medical care right away.
While arthritis isn’t curable there are certainly many ways that you can manage your symptoms. By reducing the inflammation we can also control your pain and discomfort. Sometimes medications are prescribed to help treat your symptoms, while physical therapy and special exercises may also be advised to reduce stiffness and improve mobility.
Of course, there are some cases in which arthritis is so bad that only joint surgery may be able to help. This is often the case if you have severe arthritis in the hip or knee; however, joint surgery can also be performed on the ankles, hands, fingers and even elbows.
If you are suffering from arthritis and looking for relief, then call Yavapai Foot and Ankle Center today at (928) 445-4898.