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Relax-therapy A-Z: A for Arthritis

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. The word arthritis comes from the Greek word arthron, which means joint, and it refers to any disease or disorder that affects these areas of your body.

There are many different types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), gouty arthritis and lupus are just some examples. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA). OA happens when cartilage wears down over time due to age or injury; this causes friction between bones when you move them around--which leads to pain!


Symptoms of Arthritis

The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints.

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy).

  • Fatigue

Treatment Options


Treatment options for arthritis depend on the type of arthritis you have and its severity. Medication, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes and surgery are all ways to treat arthritis.

Physiotherapy can help reduce pain by strengthening muscles around joints and improving flexibility in your joints. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that decrease inflammation in your body or slow down cartilage breakdown.

If these treatments aren't enough to control your symptoms, surgery may be an option for you if it's safe for you based on your age and overall health status (for example: if you have heart problems). Surgery may involve replacing damaged cartilage with new tissue from another part of the body, removing damaged tissue from inside bones or joints, or removing parts of bones so they don't rub together as much when moving around.


Alternative Treatments

There are several alternative treatments for arthritis that you may want to consider. These include herbal remedies, diet changes and supplements.

Herbal remedies: Herbs have been used for centuries as a way of treating diseases such as arthritis. Some examples include ginger root and turmeric (which has been shown in studies to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation). If you're interested in trying an herbal remedy for your condition, talk with your doctor first so they can recommend the best one for your needs.

Diet changes: You can also try making some dietary changes if you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis; these include eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or tuna fish while avoiding red meat and food with high level of saturated fat such as ready meals altogether ( saturated fats may increase inflammation).


Pain Management

Pain management is an important part of arthritis treatment. The goal of managing pain is to reduce the severity and duration of discomfort, so you can get on with your life. Pain relief options include:

  • Medications (oral, topical, injected)

  • Physiotherapy and exercise programs

  • Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage

Preventing Arthritis

You can prevent arthritis by making lifestyle changes.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for developing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit or cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.


  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet by eating foods that are low in fat and calories, but high in vitamins A and C (carrots) as well as calcium (green leafy vegetables). This helps keep bones strong so they don't break easily when stressed by exercise or weight-bearing activities like walking up stairs or lifting heavy objects at work or home -- both of which put stress on joints throughout the body including those in our feet!


  • Stay active by doing regular physical activity such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes per day five days per week; this will help reduce pain caused by stiffness due to reduced blood flow through narrowed arteries near damaged cartilage surfaces within joints like knees & hips.


  • Regular well-being treatments (massage and reflexology) may help to release toxins in your body parts and help with mobility issues.


Versus Arthritis Charity provides help and support for people in the UK with arthritis plus their families and friends.

They have a free helpline you can call for further information and support on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. The helpline is closed from 12pm on the last Friday of every month for training.


If you are reading this from outside UK please ask for help at your doctor's practise.



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