As you get older your body naturally goes through numerous forms of wear and tear, a bit like your favourite top or pair of shoes, but with your body rather than developing holes and having to be stitched together, it’s more a case of the joints and body as a whole ‘seizing’ and making movement uncomfortable. Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pains within a joint, such as the elbow, wrist, ankle, hip, knee or shoulder and affects millions of people around the world.
It’s the kind of condition that you either know about, or you don’t. Those who know probably do because of direct involvement with the condition, such as suffering with it themselves or knowing a friend or family member who has, and those who don’t know should be educated, and that is the aim of World Arthritis Day which takes place on 21st October this year. Just like other problems, there are numerous different forms of arthritis, something that people working in the health sector – such as hiddenhearing.co.uk to use an example – will have experienced in their own industries.
As mentioned, there are numerous different forms of arthritis, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to name just two. Those affected by osteoarthritis suffer because the cartilage between their bones gradually wears away, leading to painful bone-on-bone contact in the joints which can be particularly uncomfortable. This form of arthritis is most common in those aged 50 and over, however it can develop in people much younger who may start to develop symptoms, if not actual osteoarthritis. In the UK alone, this form of arthritis affects more than eight million people in some fashion
Rheumatoid arthritis, however, is completely different and in many cases is a far more severe form of the condition. It occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys any joints that have been affected by the natural wear and tear, causing a great deal of pain and swelling to develop, resulting in reduced movement of the joints and limbs as a whole and the breakdown of both bone and cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis develops earlier than osteoarthritis, most commonly developing in people aged between 40 and 50 and affecting around 400,000 people – just in the UK – with women three times more likely to be affected.
While World Arthritis Day is a great way of raising awareness of the condition, encouraging people who are feeling pain in their joints to get professional help to relieve the pain or diagnose the problem. For instance, many believe that it’s the kind of condition that only occurs in older people – as shown by the statistics above revealing that osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis develop in people aged between 40 and 50, but actually it can develop in children too with around 12,000 UK children aged under 16 affected by arthritis.
For that reason, it’s worth knowing the kind of symptoms that could lead to arthritis, or actually explain the pain and discomfort you’re feeling. These include:
Pain, stiffness and tenderness
Inflammation and restricted movement in and around joints
Warmth and redness of the skin around the affected joint
- Decreased strength and muscle wasting
Do you experience some form of arthritis? Do you know someone who does?