Arthritis is more than just wear and tear or a disease of the elderly. The words “arthro” meaning “joint” and “itis” meaning “inflammation” are combined together to get ‘arthritis’. It’s a general term for any condition that causes joint inflammation.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, genders and races can and do have arthritis. The Canadian economy loses more than $6.4 billion annually as a result of arthritic disability, mostly from lost work days due to long term disability.
Common Arthritis Symptoms
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. Osteoarthritis (OA, most common), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, gout, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are all conditions that can cause joint inflammation and therefore are categorized as types of arthritis.
I want my joints to stay healthy…what should I do?
1. Get adjusted! Of course you knew that would be on the list. Over time, scar tissue and cell damage occur when joints are damaged or don’t move properly. Chiropractic adjustments restore and maintain healthy joint motion.
2. Move your joints: Just 30 minutes of exercise five times a week helps joints stay limber and strengthens the muscles that support your knees and hips. Focus on low-impact exercises like walking, cycling or swimming.
3. Stretch: Gentle stretching improves your range of motion and keeps your joints limber. Try to work in simple stretches into every day.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acid: often associated with a healthy heart and glowing skin, however, it also plays a role in supporting the joints. Fatty acids help to prevent certain enzymes from damaging the joints and is known to help reduce inflammation. Fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds are also a great source.
5. Calcium: closely tied to bone and joint health. It is the nutrient associated with helping to form the bones and teeth and keep them strong. Calcium is effective in reducing joint inflammation and pain, especially in the knee joints. Dark leafy greens, milk, yogurt, and broccoli are high in calcium.
6. Vitamin D3: Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D tend to suffer from joint pain more frequently. Vitamin D3 also assists in the body’s absorption of calcium and plays an important role in healthy immune function.
Read more about arthritis here.