‘Arthritis’ or joint inflammation is a painful condition that affects the muscles, tendons, fibrous tissues and connective tissues around the joints, the most common form of which is ‘osteoarthritis’. It encompasses about 200 rheumatic conditions that affect the joints.
What is Arthritis?
A painful disease causing joint stiffness and inflammation, arthritis typically causes stiffness, swelling, aches and pains in and around the joints. It is a common condition among elderly adults (65+), but any age group can be affected. It is said that within 10 years of onset, 50% of people suffering from arthritis in developed countries are unable to perform at a full-time job (Source: www.who.int)
However, major causes include:
• Metabolic abnormalities
• Hereditary conditions
• Direct and indirect bacterial infections
• Overactive immune system
• Autoimmune disease
What Causes Arthritis?
The causes of arthritis depends on the type that is affecting the patient. For people who are susceptible to conditions due to their genetic makeup, external factors such as smoking, injury, infections and demanding physical activity can make the condition worse.
Although food or dietary factors do not cause arthritis, it is reported that certain foods may exacerbate the condition.
Wear and tear resulting in the reduction of the normal amount of cartilage tissue is also a major cause for some kinds of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
What are the Major Types of Arthritis?
Although there have been more than 200 types of arthritis identified, they are categorised into seven major groups. These include:
• Inflammatory arthritis
• Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
• Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain
• Connective tissue disease
• Infectious arthritis
• Metabolic arthritis
What is Inflammatory Arthritis?
Also known as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis is more complicated than the other types and is usually restricted to the hands. It is an autoimmune disease, which results in the body’s immune system attacking healthy tissue.
Therefore, inflammatory arthritis leads to more swelling in the joints and variation in the level of pain (which cannot be explained simply by the level of physical activity). Other common symptoms include early morning joint stiffness, tiredness or a general feeling of being unwell. However, it must be noted that these symptoms are not specific to arthritis and can be caused by other illnesses too.
What is Degenerative or Mechanical Arthritis?
Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis is a result of the breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. With age, these joints are overused and lead to swelling and joint pain. The two major types of osteoarthritis are: Primary and Secondary. The former is the result of aging, while the latter is caused by other underlying conditions such as trauma, obesity or surgery. Osteoarthritis typically affects hands, spine, knees, feet and hips.
What is Soft Tissue Musculoskeletal Pain?
Soft tissue musculoskeletal pain normally affects tissues other than bones and joints, more specifically from muscles or soft tissues supporting the joints, including the bursa. Examples of this type of pain includes tennis elbow, or those affecting a particular section of the body following an injury or overuse. However, it could also be diagnosed as fibromyalgia if the pain is more widespread, coupled with other symptoms.
What is Connective Tissue Disease?
Apart from inflammation in joints and in tissues such as the skin, muscles, lungs and kidneys, the connective tissue disease also encompasses a range of other symptoms besides painful joints. Major examples of this condition include lupus (SLE), scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) and dermatomyositis.
What is Metabolic Arthritis?
The build-up of uric acid in the blood and the resultant acid crystallization causes metabolic arthritis. The symptoms of this painful condition include redness, heat and swelling, pressure around the affected area and excruciating aches.
What is Infectious Arthritis?
Also known as septic arthritis, infectious arthritis is an extremely painful infection in the joints. This could be due to a fungal, viral or bacterial infection that spreads from other sections of the body. The major symptoms of infectious arthritis include: intense joint pain, redness and swelling in joints, fever and chills as well as the inability to move the affected joint. This type of arthritis can be diagnosed through urine, blood and joint fluid tests.
“I have been suffering with arthritis over six years and have tried every home remedy – from cold and hot therapy to acupuncture. When nothing worked, my husband bought me the Iceman Cooling Gel and it was pure magic! I swear by this product now and keep my home stacked with it always.”
Joan Sanders, Cape Town
Iceman’s cold therapy properties help relieve pain, including localised pain caused by arthritis. Arthritis pain relief is essential, as swollen joints limit the ability to move.
The healing properties of Arnica and Echinacea will relieve your arthritis pain and Iceman makes for an exceptional home remedy and could act as an alternative or addition to your other arthritis medication. It provides your sore joints with a cooling sensation; it absorbs quickly and is one of the leading pain relief gels.
Despite the relief provided by Iceman, it must be noted that consulting a physician is highly essential. The information provided is purely informative.
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