Coming of age equals coming of a variety of body pains. And do you know what most of our oldies would complain about regarding this issue? Arthritis. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other related conditions.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is the kind of arthritis that usually affects nearly three-quarters of those over 50. At the onset of arthritis, pain is not a part of the major system yet. Morning and after rest stiffness and crackling joints are usually the first few symptoms that confirm the diagnosis of the condition. Upon the development of the disease, patients are expected to suffer from more discomfort, disability and pain.
If left untreated, it can become progressively distressing and painful crippling can result. This is particularly true with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects women. It is prevalent with age group of 20 to 45.
Arthritis is not only caused by the wear and tear the joints undergo. There are other factors that aggravate this condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an immune deficiency syndrome where antibodies develop against components of joint tissue, and mistakenly and aggressively attack the joints.
Misdirected neovascularization leads to displacement of water while decreasing the volume and viscosity of synovial fluid (fluid between joints), further lessening the flexibility and cushioning power of the joint, until the surfaces of raw unprotected bone painfully begin to wear against each other, as it happens in conditions of Osteoarthritis. Inborn recessive genetic errors may also predict the inclination of a person to develop arthritis.
Dealing with the chronic pain of arthritis can be frustrating. Pain from arthritis is often caused by inflammation, a localized protective reaction of tissues to irritation or any kind of injury and is often characterized by pain, redness, swelling and even disability. Crepitation is a process that can also cause the pain that is felt by an arthritis patient. It is the rubbing together of two bone fragments that cause a crackling sound. Muscle tension and fatigue can also cause the pain.
The usual treatment for arthritis is through the use of painkillers. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin can help relieve the pain of arthritis. But they only target the symptom and not the disease itself. Studies even show that the continual use of these NSAIDs may even cause joint deterioration, thus making arthritis worse. Modern medicine does not have much to offer for the cure of this disease.
The traditional temporary arthritis pain relief medications available leave a lot to be desired. Other pain solutions can be relied on to achieve arthritis pain relief. Massage therapy, hydrotherapy and cold packs are a few of the simple methods of pain management. Herbal remedies such as ginger, willow bark and fish oils and the well-known cartilage constituents. Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate are also promising a lot in revolutionizing the treatment of arthritis. Aside from the symptomatic relief they offer, they actually interfere with the origin of the disease.
They are also being considered to help the body rebuild functioning joints. Also reported to be fast acting, in cream form, they increase mobility and optimal repair of joint structures as they help reinforce the body's protective linings and lubricating fluids by recovering cell stability and function to stop further damage.
Those discovered treatments among many might just be the best among the elusive arthritis pain relief that are commercially available.
But above all, no matter how clichéd it may sound, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
About the Author
Charlene J. Nuble 2005.
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