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Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis is a common condition that affects around 10million people in the UK, the most common symptoms of arthritis are pain and inflammation within the joints. There are various types of arthritis, with the most common types being Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK, with around 8.5million people suffering. Individuals that are suffering from Osteoarthritis the cartilage between the bones begins to gradually waste away, which leads to painful rubbing of the bone on the joints. This mostly happens in joints within the hands, knees, hips & spine. Osteoarthritis is more common in men and women over the age of 50; however it is possible for younger people to suffer from Osteoarthritis due to an injury or other joint related conditions.

The symptoms of Osteoarthritis vary from one person to another, depending on the affected joints. However the most common symptoms are:

  • Mild inflammation of the tissues in and around the joints.
  • Damage to the cartilage which causes pain when moving joints.
  • Growths that develop around the affected joints.

These symptoms can lead to pain & stiffness, especially when the joints are being used regularly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects around 580,000 people in the UK and is a more severe, however less common form of arthritis. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the joints and causes pain and swelling. This often leads to a breakdown of the bone and cartilage, which leads to a reduction in movement. It makes your joints swell, feel stiff and make your feel tired & unwell. This form of arthritis is more common in men and women between the ages of 40 and 70, but can affect people of any age due to injury or joint related conditions.

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Who Is At Risk?

As we age, it becomes more difficult for our joints to heal, which increases the risk of arthritis. Being overweight is one of the biggest factors in developing arthritis within the knees due to the excess weight that is put on the joint. Losing weight helps to reduce the pressure on the joints and decreases the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Individuals that use a certain joint repeatedly for long period of time are also at risk of developing arthritis, for example people that play tennis or football are at risk of developing arthritis in the knee. People that have jobs that involve repeatedly bending the knees or lifting heavy weights also puts repeated pressure on joints which can lead to arthritis.

A serious injury to a joint can make it prone to developing osteoarthritis, for example an individual that has a back injury is at risk of developing arthritis in the spine. A broken bone near a joint can lead to developing arthritis in that particular joint. Also individuals that suffer from certain medical conditions can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life, such as hip dysplasia or scoliosis.

How Is Arthritis Treated?

Currently there is no cure for arthritis, but there are a number of treatments that can slow down the progress & its symptoms. Arthritis is normally a difficult disease to treat as it can be unpredictable; however there are several treatments that can ease pain and slow down the spread of the disease.

To treat osteoarthritis painkillers or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and help to reduce inflammation. In more extreme cases surgery may be required, for example if a joint replacement or fusion is needed, or the bones need to be re-aligned. It is also advised to exercise regularly if you suffer from Osteoarthritis, you may think that exercise will make conditions in your joints worse, however exercise keeps you active, mobile and helps to build up muscle which strengthens the joints, which will help to improve symptoms. Certain gels, such as Flexiseq are specially formulated to combat joint pain associated with osteoarthritis and is clinically proven to restore joint mobility.

The ideal treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis is to slow down the effects; this can be achieved by painkillers, such as paracetamol or codeine, which help to reduce the pain, while ibuprofen can help to relieve pain and reduce swelling in your joints. 

Choose Your Arthritis & Joint Pain Treatment

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For more information on arthritis or joint pain, please visit the NHS Choices website.