Some tips on arthritis – Tufts

Approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis. Nearly 40 million persons in the United States are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children! More than 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis. Approximately 2.1 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
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I have written more than once about the arthritis I suffer from in my hands. Mine is osteoarthritis.  Following is a series of tips from Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.

Nonsurgical options for osteoarthritis:

Physical therapy: A therapist can work with you to develop a stretching and strengthening routine to relive symptoms and keep you active.
-Weight loss: If you are overweight, shedding some pounds reduces the pressure you place on your knee joints.
-Walking: For those with milder arthritis, regular brisk walking or even light jogging has been shown in some studies to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
-Acupuncture: Studies on acupuncture for joint pain are mixed, but some doctors think it’s worth a try for a few months.
-Supplements: Research is mixed on whether glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and other purported “joint support” supplements relieve pain, with the data trending toward no benefit. But some people feel the pills make a difference.

Here is a breakdown on the two types from the National Institutes of Health.

Osteoarthritis: a disease that damages the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. This allows bones to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. The condition can cause bone spurs to grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space, which causes more pain and damage. Unlike some other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects only joints and not internal organs. It is the most common type of arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: a disease that affects your joints. Joints are where two or more bones join together, such as at your knees, hips, or shoulders. Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness. If joints on one side of your body have rheumatoid arthritis, usually those joints on the other side do, too. This disease often occurs in more than one joint. It can affect any joint in the body. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you also may feel sick and tired, and sometimes get fevers.

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Filed under arthritis, Exercise, exercise benefits, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

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