October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
“One in six people in the UK are affected by arthritis, and anyone at any age can be affected. Our National Arthritis Week survey reveals that while most people think they have a good understanding of arthritis, for many people this understanding is actually unfounded as they believe common arthritis myths.” – Alan Silman, Arthritis Research UK medical director
Arthritis causes pain and inflamation within a joint. There are many types of arthritis but the most common two are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between bones wastes away which leads to rubbing of bone on bone. This often develops in people who are over 50 and most often affects the hands, spine, knee or hip joints.
Rheumatoid occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the affected joints, causing pain and swelling . It can also lead to a reduction in movement and the breakdown of bone and cartilage. Woman are three times more likely to be affected by the condition than men.
Other types of arthritis include
- ankylosing spondylitis
- cervical spondylitis
- psoriatic arthritis
- reactive arthritis
- secondary arthritis
- polymyalgia rheumatica
Whilst there is no cure for arthritis there are steps that can be taken to help manage the condition and the pain. Many people are under the impression that exercise should not be undertaken if they have pain in the joint, this is not true. Whilst care must be taken and modifications of exercise may be needed exercise can actually help manage the pain and ensure the joint does not stiffen up or become unstable. You may have to change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms, but try to stay as active as your symptoms allow, an activity such as aqua aerobics is ideal because it relieves the weight bearing stress that gravity puts on the body joints.
For more details about National Arthritis Week and the events they are holding to raise awareness please follow this link Arthritis Research UK .
Alan Silman, Arthritis Research UK medical director has this to add:
“Early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference to the prognosis and outcome of inflammatory arthritis. There may be many people in the UK living with painful joints and reduced quality of life who have not consulted their GP and are not aware of the many treatments and self-help measures that could drastically relieve their pain.”
So if you are suffering from joint pain please don’t suffer in silence see your GP and take steps to help manage the pain.
Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.
Helen Witcomb runs Whole Life Fitness which is a personal training company which specialises in the over 50s. For more information please visit Whole Life Fitness or call 01252313578.