Arthritis is associated with stiffness, swelling and pain within the joints. Unfortunately, it can get worse as age. There are many forms of Arthritis, but the most common types are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Gout. (1)
Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint. This condition is the progressive destruction of the joint cartilage that cushions the joints. It is common to see in people over 65 years of age, but it can start early especially after injury to a joint. Most commonly the hands, knees and lower back is the target for osteoarthritis (2). Osteoarthritis is usually diagnosed with normal x-rays. Management can include conservative approaches such as Chiropractic and manual therapies.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition, typically a hereditary condition. It is less common than osteoarthritis and it can cause other health issues (2). Usually seen in the upper parts of your hands, it will feel swollen, red, and very stiff. Rheumatoid arthritis can have flare-ups where the pain is worse than normal. Diagnosis of this condition includes diagnostic imaging like x-rays, however, with this type of arthritis blood tests can be warranted to see if there is the rheumatoid marker. If you have a close relative with Rheumatoid arthritis, it can be beneficial to get tested and treated early (1).
Gout is a type of arthritis, most seen in men. A gout attack normally targets the patient’s big toe. This leaves the patient with a lot of pain, however short-lived, care must be taken to prevent gout attacks. Gout is a build-up of uric acid crystals. These crystals build up from drinking too much beer and fizzy drinks and eating too much meat and shellfish. With medication and some lifestyle changes, you can control the uric acid levels in your body. (3)
When left untreated arthritis can have a detrimental impact on your life. If it is diagnosed early in combination with conservative treatment and medicine, you can expect an improved lifestyle. Go seek advice from a professionally trained medical provider like your chiropractor, otherwise, phone the Arthritis New Zealand at 0800 663 463.
- Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Arthritis – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772#:~:text=Arthritis%20is%20the%20swelling%20and.
- Ministry of Health NZ. (n.d.). Arthritis. [online] Available at: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/arthritis [Accessed 30 Nov. 2020].
- Ministry of Health NZ. (n.d.). Gout. [online] Available at: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/gout.