Friday, July 10, 2009

Arthritis blues

Arthritis is a major impediment in performing our daily activities. Arthritis can be broadly classified into three major types namely osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. Arthritis is a joint disorder accompanied by severe pain, stiffness and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the more common form of arthritis and it is usually due to excess weight or lack of physical activity as you get older. OA is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder wherein our own immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissues. RA is associated with genetic factors apart from environmental and lifestyle factors. Women are more susceptible to developing RA than men. Swimming is suggested for relief from RA discomfort and people believe that yoga and tai chi can also lend a hand in easing the RA misery. Drugs are prescribed for RA to slow down the degenerative process while stretching and strengthening exercises can supplement medication. There is no cure for RA yet but scientists are optimistic about stem cell therapy in the future. Juvenile arthritis is prevalent among children marked by painful joints, swelling and rashes. Regardless of the type of arthritis a patient suffers from an arthritis patient always needs love and affection from the family. Most of the arthritis patients tend to experience depression, anxiety and develop a feeling of helplessness on being left alone. Special support is expected from families with arthritis patients.


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