Arthritis: Are You At Risk?

By Sara Butler

Many people suffer with arthritis without knowing what the symptoms are -- it's just a pain in your knee when you get out of bed in the morning or a kink in your elbow when you're shopping at the grocery store. Knowing what arthritis is, what your risks are for developing it, and how you might be able to prevent it is crucial to your health as you get older.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis, in simple terms, is inflammation of the joints. It can impact one or many joints from your neck down to your toes. Eventually, the cartilage in the joints will break down and leave the bones of the joint unprotected, causing inflammation and pain.

The symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Joint pain
  • Aching in the joint
  • Swelling in the joint

Symptoms may come and go, but the intensity of the pain will increase as time goes on and the condition progresses.

Who's at Risk?

There are things that put you at risk for developing arthritis. These include:

  • Age - Your risk of developing arthritis increases with age
  • Excess weight - Extra weight on the body puts more pressure on the joints and leads to arthritis
  • Occupation - If your job requires repetitive body movements, you're at a higher risk for arthritis
  • Family history - If you have people close to you in your family with arthritis, then you're at a higher risk of developing it too
  • Muscle weakness - The muscles around the joint with arthritis tend to become weak as the condition gets worse
  • Injury - Arthritis can occur at the site of a previous joint injury

What You Can Do

Arthritis has no cure, but some treatment methods can be used to help reduce pain and manage your symptoms. These include:

  • Exercise - Exercise helps to strengthen the surrounding structures and support the joint; gentle exercise such as yoga, bicycling, and walking are great low impact activities that can help
  • Maintain a healthy weight - If your body weight is healthy, then it puts less stress and strain on your joints
  • Use heat therapy - Using warm compresses and heat can help to manage the discomfort and pain associated with the condition

If you're worried you may have arthritis, then come into The Joint Chiropractic today for an evaluation. The chiropractors at The Joint can help devise a treatment plan that can help you stay healthy and mobile.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Queen Creek, Ariz.

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