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What is Arthritis?


As time passes by, a lot of people start to feel pain and rigidity inside their bodies. Sometimes even their hands, knees, shoulders hurt and it's hard for them to move, since they may become swollen. These kinds of people may have "arthritis". Arthritis could be caused by swollen tissue that covers articulations. Some signs of swollenness include redness, heat, and pain. These signs mean something isn't right.


Articulations are the places where two bones meet, such as elbows or knees. With the passage of time, in several kinds of arthritis, articulations may be severely affected.


There are different types of arthritis. Arthritis may coexist alongside other diseases. When this occurs, other organs such as eyes, chest, or even skin can be damaged. Some people worry because they share the belief that having arthritis means they won't be able to work or take care of their children or their families. Some others believe arthritis is a part of life that should be embraced.


The truth is that arthritis can be painful. But there are some things you can do to feel better. This booklet will give you important information about arthritis, as well as some ideas about what you must do in order to keep enjoying much of what you like to do.


Any part of your body can get swollen or hurt because of arthritis.


Which are the most common types of Arthritis?

The two most common types are osteoarthritis and arthritis rheumatoid.


Osteoarthritis is the most common strain of arthritis. It usually begins with aging and it affects fingers, knees and hips. Sometimes this kind of arthritis develops where there has been an injury or a blow. For example, a young man could hurt his knee while playing soccer, or be injured during a traffic accident.


Then, year after the knee seems to have healed, arthritis symptoms may appear.


The arthritis rheumatoid occurs when the body's defense system isn't working properly. It affects articulations and bones - often being hands and feet bones - and it could affect organs and internal systems. You may begin to feel tired or sick, and even develop a fever.


Another common type of arthritis is the drop. This condition begins when there is an accumulation of crystals inside the articulations.


Usually it affects the toes, but many other articulations may be affected as well.


Arthritis can develop aside many other conditions, such as:


• Lupus, a disease where the body's internal defense system may damage the articulations, the heart, skin, kidneys and several other organs.
• Any infection that finds its way through an articulation and destroys the tissue between the bones.




Do I have Arthritis?

Pain is the way in which your body indicates that something isn't right. Almost every strain of arthritis causes pain in your joints. You could experience moving difficulties. Some kinds of arthritis may affect different parts of your body. This means, that besides the usual articulation pain, you may suffer from:


• Fever
• Weight loss
• Breath deficiencies
• Rashes or itching skin


Don't forget these symptoms may be signs of other diseases.
Experiencing rigidity or pain when moving is probably a sign of arthritis.



What can I do?

See a doctor. To relieve the pain, many people use herbs or non-prescription medicine. Always let your doctor know if you are taking any medication.


Only a professional can tell you if you have arthritis or any related condition and what you must do. Do not hesitate and visit your doctor right away.


You will have to tell your doctor how you feel and where the pain is located. The doctor will then examine you and may perform an x-ray of your bones or articulations.


X-rays do not inflict any pain and aren't dangerous. Altogether, you may be required to take a blood test that will help the doctor determine which type of arthritis you have.


X-rays will help the doctor establish exactly what is happening with your bones and joints.



How can the doctor help me?


After the doctor realizes which kind of arthritis you have, he will discuss whit you the best treatment options. Maybe he will write you a prescription for medication that could help to cope with the pain, rigidity and swollenness. Your medic care will probably pay for your medications, consults, analysis and x-rays.


Don't forget to carry your prescription with you when you buy your medicines.



How should I use Arthritis medicine?


Before you leave the doctor's office, make sure you ask him the better way to take your prescription medicine. Drinking milk or eating something may be necessary before, after, or while you are taking your medicine. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions in order to prevent any stomach aches.


You must also ask how often the medicine, body lotion, or whatever your doctor recommends, should be taken or applied. Lotions can relieve the skin and joint pains. However, these lotions can sometimes cause burnt skin or occasional rashes. If any of this occurs contact your doctor right away.



What if I still feel pain?


It's possible you will still feel pain even though you are taking your medicines.


Some suggestions to ease the pain are the following:


• Take a warm shower
• Make some soft stretching exercises
• Put on ice in the painful area
• Rest the painful articulation


If you still feel pain after using the medicines properly and perform some of these suggestions, call your doctor. Another type of medicine may work better for you.


Some people can benefit from surgery, what we call articular replacement.



You can feel better!


Arthritis can damage articulations, organs and skin altogether. Here are some things you can do to help you feel better:


• Try to control your weight. Any excess of weight could cause pain to your knees and hips
• Exercise. Articulation movement will help you. Your medic or nurse can teach you how to move with ease.
Going out for a walk every day is a good option as well.
• Take your medications exactly as they have been prescripted, since they can help relieve the pain and rigidity.
• Take a warm shower in the morning.
• Visit your doctor regularly.
• Search for extra information which may help you.