An inflammatory condition which affects the joints, arthritis can be caused by general wear and tear on the body, genetic tendencies and previous injuries. Over 80 percent of people over the age of 50 have signs of arthritis, with the most common areas of the body to find this being the wrists, hips, knees, fingers and spine. It can be a debilitating problem for some people, causing pain and swelling in the joints. In some parts of the globe, arthritis is the number one cause of disability. The symptoms of arthritis are weakness of the joints and a stiffness, which can reduce their ability to function effectively. Here are the six P’s of arthritis to help you check for the warning signs.
Pain shows that there may be an inflammation or damage in the joint, which can indicate the destruction of the joint. If you’ve had continued pain for several weeks, speak to your GP who can arrange for an X-Ray to diagnose any problems. You should also avoid any exercise which worsens the pain, as this can just cause further damage.
Your weight plays a big part in the state of your condition – if you’re heavier, you are putting excess strain on your joints which can cause them to be more painful. This is particularly true of your knee, hips and ankle joints, as this is where the majority of the weight puts pressure on. Try to reduce your weight, if you are overweight, which can help with your symptoms.
You may be genetically predisposed to having arthritis, so check if there is a history of it in your family. In particular, if you do have a history of arthritis, you should pay extra attention to the other five signs.
This is known to put strain on your joints, by compressing the cartilage and leading to a higher risk of injury. You should avoid impact sports such as jumping or running, in order to reduce the chance of you worsening your condition.
Posture is a key component to look out for, as you may be placing unnecessary strain on your spine which causes similar effects to that of pounding. Of course, while you are able to correct some postural habits, there is a limit to how much you can manage this area of your condition.
Naturally, you don’t want to overdo the exercise if you’re suffering with arthritis, but a few light sessions each week can help you. It works by keeping the muscles and joints supple and mobile, as well as maintaining circulation which helps to promote good collagen health.