Arthritis is a condition that causes swelling in one or more of your joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 100 arthritic conditions. Some of these include:
- Childhood arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Septic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
However, two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which causes cartilage to break down, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints.
Certain genetic factors make some people more likely to develop arthritis. Women, for example, are at a higher risk of arthritis than men. Additionally, arthritis can run in families, making you more likely to develop it if your parents or siblings experience it. Other risk factors include obesity, which can put excess stress on your joints and lead to inflammation, as well as previous joint injuries.
If you have arthritis, there are certain steps you can take to manage your symptoms and reduce the impact of this condition on your daily life. These include:
Staying active with low-impact exercise: Regular low-impact physical activity, such as walking, bicycling, or swimming, place little stress on your joints and are helpful for controlling your weight, improving your mood, and relieving arthritis pain. Additionally, gradual progressive strength training and stretches can help to maintain your flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your joints.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet: Your diet, combined with regular exercise, can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight that reduces stress on your joints. This can be helpful for reducing the severity of your symptoms.
Working with a doctor: A rheumatologist can help you determine the right course of treatment for your symptoms. This treatment can include physical therapy, medication to relieve pain or slow the progression of the disease, or surgery in cases where other approaches are not providing adequate results.
You can find a rheumatologist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center to get started on your arthritis treatment. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 670-5486.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.