Arthritis is a common disorder that leads to problems in many different joints. From osteoarthritis to rheumatoid arthritis, each type of this condition causes degeneration and pain. Understanding the factors that contribute to arthritis helps you successfully keep your joints from getting worse.
At Joint Regeneration of Lake Oconee, located in Eatonton, Georgia, our team are experts in treating different forms of arthritis. Our goal is to help you make lifestyle changes that encourage healing. We offer conservative measures to help you deal with your arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is not in itself a single condition; it’s an umbrella term that encompasses more than 100 different types of diseases that impact your joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every four adults suffers from some form of arthritis.
Put simply, arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. It often causes both pain and inflammation in either a specific joint, or many joints throughout your body. Although there are hundreds of types of arthritis, the most common forms include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are by far the most prevalent types of the disease. Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative arthritis that happens when the cartilage that protects your joint wears away.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the lining in your joints, destroying the protective layer and causing inflammation. This disease not only affects your joints, but can damage some of your internal organs as well.
Factors that could be making your arthritis worse
If you have arthritis, the key to managing the disease is understanding how to prevent it from progressing. Some of the risk factors for arthritis are fixed; for instance, genetics and age are both out of your control.
However, there are some things in your life that could be worsening your arthritis symptoms. These modifiable factors include:
Being overweight greatly contributes to your risk of arthritis. The excess weight on your joints, especially your knees and hips, takes its toll over time. The pressure from the weight causes degeneration of the joints. If you already have arthritis, obesity speeds up the progression of the disease.
Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your chances of rheumatoid arthritis. If you already have the disease, smoking inherently makes your symptoms worse. It also makes it hard for you to stay active, which is a key component to keeping rheumatoid arthritis under control.
Being involved in contact sports can speed up arthritis in your body due to injury and blunt force to your joints. Damage that’s sustained to a joint through sports can cause arthritis symptoms later on.
If your job involves performing repetitive motions or strenuous manual labor, you could be worsening your arthritis. Constant and repetitive movements in your joint cause damage over time, leading to arthritis and worsening of your symptoms.
Keeping your arthritis under control
Although there are a lot of factors that contribute to arthritis, there are ways to manage the disease without invasive procedures. In fact, most of them can be done on your own, or with the guidance of our team.
The best way to manage your arthritis symptoms is to make a few lifestyle changes. These changes include:
- Staying active
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Watching out for your joints
- Not ignoring your pain
A few modifications can make a big difference when you’re suffering from arthritis. Our team can also help you manage your symptoms through conservative measures like physical therapy and joint injections. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are also an option for your symptoms.
If you’re suffering from arthritis and need expert care, call our office in Eatonton, Georgia today at 762-214-5615 to make an appointment. You may also schedule a consultation using our online booking tool.