Arthritis 101Chances are good that you or someone close to you suffers from one of the more than 100 varieties of arthritis. This confusing disease is responsible for a wide range of pain, plus stiffness and swelling in joints that makes it difficult or impossible to carry out ordinary, everyday activities.
In fact, arthritis is the number two cause of work disabilities in the United States today. The condition affects women more than men and about one out of three people are dealing with it daily -- 66 million people in the U.S. alone.
If you need help or more information on your specific type of arthritis, a quick web search will bring you plenty of information in seconds. Be as specific as possible in your search terms since many conditions are grouped under one specific name -- and there are more than 100 of these names.
Most of the different types are in reference to where on the body they affect you. Most types of arthritis can be treated and the symptoms and side effects that come with it as well. Many people have pain, trouble sleeping and other problems that come along with arthritis and there is help for that as well.
Some common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, juvenile arthritis and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia affects more women than men. Arthritis can be crippling to many people and the sooner you get treatment, the better your chances of living a normal life with it.
Naturally the specific course of treatment will be determined by the type and severity of the arthritis. Once treatment has begun, be sure to ask your doctor whenever you notice any change in symptoms.
Many people benefit from exercise which can strengthen joints and reduce the pain. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program, then stick to your plan for best results.
(ARA) - Arthritis sufferers not only feel pain, but they can also lose critical physical abilities and independence, as well as jobs. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is clearly a serious health problem. Nearly 70 million people in America suffer from some type of arthritis-related condition and it is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability. Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing of more than 7 million people. And since we are living longer as a society, the number of people with arthritis is bound to increase. Should we be concerned? No doubt, but there is hope.
Many people believe they donít need to worry about the effects of arthritis, because it is an "old personís disease."This is a myth. While it may be true that arthritis is more prevalent in the elderly, the symptoms of arthritis typically begin long before we receive our senior citizen discount cards. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly two-thirds of the people with arthritis are younger than 65 years old. Furthermore, arthritis affects people of all age groups, including nearly 300,000 children.
Many people believe that drugs alone will take care of their arthritis problems. This is a myth. If you are a user of popular arthritis drugs, you know firsthand that prescription drugs are not the magic bullets many thought they were, and come with their own set of risks, costs, complications and undesirable side effects.
Many people also believe that exercise will not prevent or help with the symptoms of arthritis. This is also a myth. Even a moderate exercise routine can do a lot to prevent, alleviate or improve the pain and disabling effects of arthritis in men and women of all ages. A well-balanced routine of nerve gliding, stretching and strengthening exercises can reduce joint pain and stiffness, as well as improve flexibility, dexterity, strength and endurance in our arms, wrists, hands, fingers and thumbs. Exercise also increases the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to the tissues of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, which is critical to both healing and on-going health.
Jemarkel Health-Tech (www.Wristiciser.com) manufactures the innovative Wristiciser and the NerveGlider -- specially designed devices to allow easy, convenient and controlled exercise of the entire upper extremity, including the arms, hands, fingers and thumbs. According to Tom Brandt, president of Jemarkel, "Therapists across the world use targeted nerve gliding, stretching and strengthening exercises to the alleviate the disabling effects of many upper extremity disorders, including tennis elbow, golferís elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis."
According to Molly Opperman, a recent sufferer of arthritis, "I was an arthritis sufferer. The pain and stiffness in both of my wrists, hands and fingers had been terrible -- at least until I found the Wristiciser and began doing the nerve gliding, stretching and strengthening exercises. In no time at all after using it, my hands were feeling better. I use it everyday. I even take it with me when I travel to make sure Iíll keep myself pain-free all the time."
So if your hands are stiffening up or you simply canít do some of the things you used to do with your hands, discard the myths of arthritis. Arthritis is a big deal and is a serious disease. Arthritis does affect the young and middle-aged, as well as the elderly. Drugs are not risk-free magic bullets in the treatment of arthritis. And there is a lot you can do to improve, prevent, and/or delay the disabling effects of arthritis -- starting with well-balanced and controlled nerve gliding, stretching and strengthening exercises.