Arthritis is a common condition that affects both men and women. In most cases, this condition gets worse over time, leading to increasing amounts of pain and disability. Because arthritis is such a difficult condition to manage, many people wonder whether it is possible to prevent it from developing. Below is some basic information to help you understand arthritis and reduce your risks.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis occurs when inflammation develops in one or more joints. Two main types of arthritis exist: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis develops because of wear and tear on your joints over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that occurs when your body’s immune system begins targeting the lining of your joints. Other types of arthritis also exist.
Regardless of which type of arthritis you have, the symptoms are likely to be similar. The most common symptoms of this condition are stiffness and joint pain that gets worse with age.
Certain people are more likely than others to develop arthritis. As you age, the risk of this condition increases. You are also more likely to develop arthritis if you have a family history of the condition. Although you can’t control either of these risk factors, you can still take steps to prevent arthritis. For example, maintaining a healthy weight may reduce your risk of developing arthritis. You may also be able to reduce your risks by avoiding joint injury.
In some cases, preventing arthritis may not be possible. However, prompt treatment early in the progression of the disease can reduce the risk of severe symptoms. Some of the treatments available for patients with arthritis include:
- Medications to reduce inflammation and pain
- Therapy to improve mobility
- Joint repair, replacement or fusion surgery
An experienced doctor will be able to tell you which treatment options are best for you.
If you are experiencing hand pain or other symptoms of arthritis in the hands, Florida Hand Center is proud to offer a range of hand treatment options. Please contact us today to schedule a free hand screening at your convenience.