By Causenta Wellness
Arthritis is officially defined as joint inflammation and is used to describe approximately 200 conditions that affect joints, their surrounding tissues, and other connective tissue. Arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness that can worsen with age.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis treatments vary depending on the underlying cause of the condition and typically are trying to lessen symptoms and improve quality of life for patients.
Osteoarthritis is when cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — deteriorates. Additionally, osteoarthritis can cause changes in the bones and inflammation of the joint lining. This type of arthritis affects the whole joint and can be caused by overuse of a joint.
“It’s basically wear and tear,” says Causenta Founder & CEO Dr. Tom Incledon. “I have a lot of issues with arthritis from lifting heavy weights for so many years.”
Osteoarthritis can also develop as a result of an injury or infection.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s body to attack the joints. It attacks the joint lining first and can ultimately cause the entire joint to breakdown, including all the cartilage and bone in the area.
Common Arthritis Symptoms and Risk Factors
Consistent problems with your joints may be a clue that you have arthritis because the most common arthritis symptoms involve the joints. Be aware of things like:
- Decreased range of motion
You may be at a higher risk for developing arthritis if one or more of these risk factors apply to you:x
- Age: The risk of developing arthritis increases as you get older. This is true for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Family history: Arthritis is not a genetic condition, but some types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, can run in families. This means you may be at a higher risk of developing arthritis if your parents or siblings have the disorder.
- Gender: A form of arthritis known as gout is more common in men. Gout develops when too much uric acid crystallizes and deposits in the joints and is characterized by pain and inflammation of joints in small bones, specifically the feet. However, women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
- Obesity: Too much weight puts stress on joints, especially the knees, hips, and spine, so those with obesity have a higher risk of developing arthritis.
- Prior joint injury: If you injure a joint at any point in life, maybe while playing a sport or in an accident, you are more likely to eventually develop osteoarthritis in that particular joint. This does not mean you have an increased risk for other types of arthritis.
How do I know if I have arthritis?
If you are experiencing common arthritis symptoms, see a doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
In some cases, a doctor will perform physical tests to check the joints for swelling, redness, and warmth. Lab tests such as drawing blood or testing urine may also be ordered to determine which type of arthritis you may have.
Additionally, in certain cases, MRIs or X-rays can be helpful to a doctor in order to gain more knowledge about your condition.
Arthritis Treatment Options
For individuals diagnosed with arthritis, treatment options will vary based on the type.
For some, medication may be prescribed to help minimize pain and joint damage. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to replace cartilage and eliminate pain.
For those seeking more natural arthritis treatment options, physical therapy can help. “Even though you may experience pain and limited motion in a certain joint because of arthritis doesn’t mean you should stop using it,” says Incledon. “If you do the right exercises with the help of an exercise or physical therapist, you can often regain range of motion.”
Swimming and water aerobics are good choices for those with arthritis because being in water lessens stress on weight-bearing joints. Exercise in general will also keep joints flexible.
Individuals with arthritis should also be sure they are eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. This is especially true for people with obesity or in situations where excess weight is prohibiting movement. Incledon recommends eating foods low on the glycemic index and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other types of natural treatment options include minimally invasive treatment with exosomes. Incledon has tried this arthritis treatment himself and experienced great results.
“I really felt less pain after the exosome injections and feel they are a worthwhile treatment option for arthritis,” he says. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that are released from cells when the intermediate endocytic compartment, the multivesicular body, and the plasma membrane fuse together.
Basically, they house messenger RNA that helps cells heal themselves and can be injected into joints affected by arthritis.
“Exosomes are a promising therapy for joint pain treatment because of their small size, stability, biologically active content, and ability to be used with specific targeting as a natural delivery system,” says Incledon.
New Technologies Can Help, Too
Causenta also offers several technology tools that can treat arthritis and help those suffering from joint pain, inflammation, and limited motion live a more complete and pain-free life.
One example is the ARPWave. This technology is ideal for patients who are experiencing joint pain caused by arthritis. Treatment with ARPWave can provide relief quickly and effectively. The ARPWave device sends an electrical signal into the body alleviating pain and discomfort. This tool can be used on patients who have injured a joint or deal with on-going joint pain and inflammation.
If you are interested in learning more about natural treatment for arthritis and alleviating joint pain at Causenta, call us today to schedule a consultation. Our caring team is looking forward to starting you on a customized path to feeling your best.