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Arthritis - A Friendly Chat by Sandra Firman - HTML preview

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Arthritis- Definitions and Types

Before we delve into the remedies for arthritis, it is important to understand the two main types of arthritis. There are over one hundred types of arthritis but they all go under the heading of these two main branches:

  1. Osteoarthritis
    This is my burden in life, the main type and the one most often suffered. Osteoarthritis means basically the degeneration of joints. Your knees and hips and lower back are giving out on you and the loss of mobility in these joints causes untold pain. If you are an athlete or an older person you most likely suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis. You find that your lower back aches, your knees hurt when you climb stairs and your hips ache if you stand or sit too long. You are not alone. Over 33 million people in the United States suffer from this type of arthritis. This condition can and does result from obesity because the wear and tear also results from the weight- bearing joints start to break down. With Osteoarthritis, the cartilage or soft bone in the joint begins to wear down. It had been serving as your shock absorber for many years, and protecting the joints from damage. As more damage to your joints occurs over time, the cartilage on the bones of the joint starts to wear away more and more and soon it does not work at all.

    The cushioning effect of the cartilage is gone and also the gel-like fluid in the joints. The end result is pain when you run, walk or stand for a long time. You might even hear the grating sound as the joint's rough edges of cartilage rub up against each other. Bone spurs can develop at they end of the bones and they are very painful.

    If one area, such as your lower back is affected, there are several vertebrae affected. An x-ray of your lower back and knees will be able to detect the damage and to what degree each is suffering. The diagnostician will be able to pinpoint which S joints or Spinal joints and L joints or Lumbar will need attention, or to what degree you knee joints are affected. After that determination you are responsible for whichever treatment you opt to take, and you need to be informed. Many people continue to live athletic and demanding lives, you will not be compromised by osteoarthritis, but you will need help. And that you have to judge for yourself!