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arthritisArthritis - The achy, stiff, painful and sometimes swelling sensation patients can experience when their joints become inflamed. Nearly one million Americans of all ages, shapes and sizes are diagnosed with it every year. 1

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, and it is the number one reason for joint replacement.   It develops after many years of constant motion and pressure on the joint and often causes unbearable pain and decreased range of motion.

There are also two other forms of arthritis: inflammatory and traumatic. Inflammatory arthritis, also known as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, is a chronic disease, which causes swelling and heat in the joint lining. Meanwhile traumatic arthritis is joint inflammation caused by an injury. Those who suffer from traumatic arthritis experience bleeding and flattening in the joint space, increased bone thickness, and bone erosion.

Treatment Options

There are a variety of ways to manage and reduce the symptoms of arthritis:

  • Lifestyle changes like weight loss and/or exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Over-the-counter remedies (NSAIDs)
  • Direct heat
  • Prescription medications
  • Injections

When these treatments no longer work, it may be time to consider joint replacement surgery.

 

1 - http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm