Arthritis Awareness Month
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
In recognition of the approximately 50 million American adults live with arthritis, and not including the 300,000 children who have juvenile or rheumatoid arthritis,
The month of May has been designated National Arthritis Awareness Month.
Shannon Miller Lifestyle felt it only fitting to share the results of our Arthritis research with you.
Juvenile Arthritis is a mystery, but some clues have led researchers to believe that it is genetic, though very complex. It does not seem to follow a pattern, but instead may be a mix of complex genes leading to the symptoms of arthritis. Juvenile Arthritis is very painful and includes problems with fever and illness. Juvenile Arthritis is autoimmune, so researchers are finding the links between genetics and all autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia and lupus. Often, the prescription for Juvenile Arthritis is painful injections to loosen tissue and joints. Other therapies include massage and exercise therapy, and common pain relievers. Currently, the Arthritis Foundation rejects therapies such as food eliminations, or use of soy proteins.
For children and adults living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, symptoms can range from no pain to immobility and excruciating pain. Every day life may be pretty normal for some, while flare ups can be painful and debilitating. There are many methods for helping alleviate the pain and inflammation, including hundreds of drugs formulated for this purpose. Massage therapy is also helpful. Some doctors choose to help patients with an intravenous drug cocktail, similar to some cancer therapies, to help reduce flare ups. Tai Chi is a favored exercise method currently. Several studies have shown that practicing Tai Chi reduces pain associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis. A new study shows that weight lifting is just as beneficial or perhaps more so than Tai Chi.
Osteoarthritis used to be associated with just getting old; the bones wear down and ache. Now, researchers subdivide osteoarthritis patients into their probable cause groups:
Post Trauma Arthritis
Post Trauma arthritis patients over-did something in their lives. They danced on concrete floors, overused the rotator cuff, or fell too many times off of the trampoline. The traumatic events can cause the cartilage to underproduce or diminish with time. Compound those types of injuries with certain genetic qualities or body types, and arthritis occurs. A new study may help these patients, as new oxygen-free radicals and proteins are placed in those spots to reduce further damage.
Obesity and Arthritis
Patients who are obese, meaning at least 30% overweight, are at an increased risk for osteoarthritis. The first reason is the most obvious one; the joints are under extended pressure to hold up the body weight, which can wear down connective tissue and cartilage. What people might not realize is that the actual fat cells release toxins into the body, which can cause pain and inflammation in all of the joints, compounding this effect.
Aging and Arthritis
As bones and cartilage age, they become more brittle and fragile. This causes osteoarthritis. Doctors emphasize to their patients to start early on preventing bone loss: calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium work together to maintain bone health. Recent studies show that Vitamin C plays a critical role, as well. And weight-baring exercise strengthens not only muscles, but bones. All of these in combination are the best preventative medicine. It is important to note that someone who has osteoarthritis should not give up on these methods of bone and joint help. Movement, exercise, and a good diet can keep the body from deteriorating AND can reverse some of the effects by minimizing joint pain.
SML Resource: Arthritis Foundation