Most people think of arthritis and mental health as separate issues, but the fact is they often go hand-in-hand. In this post, we explore how the two conditions can impact each other, and what you need to know.
Arthritis is the inflammation of your joints, and the main symptoms include joint stiffness and joint pain. This often makes it difficult to perform daily tasks and move around. While there are over 100 types of arthritis, the three most common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs as we age; however being obese or sustaining injuries can increase your risk. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage at the ends of your bones wears away. Cartilage acts like a cushion, making it easy for bones in joints to move and glide. When the cartilage wears away, your bones rub and grind against each other. This causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints such as your knees, hips, or hands.
Some common symptoms of osteoarthritis include stiffness upon waking in the morning, a deep ache, and pain while walking or climbing stairs.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. If you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks parts of your body. With RA, your immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsules. This causes inflammation and damage to your joints.
With RA, the symptoms and pain are often more severe than with osteoarthritis. RA usually affects multiple joints, and you may notice a symmetric pattern. For example, if certain joints on one side of the body are inflamed, the same joints on the other side will most likely be inflamed too. RA may also affect other organs other than your joints, and it can make you feel fatigued.
With this type of arthritis, both the skin and joints become inflamed. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you may have patchy and raised inflamed areas on your skin. Your fingers and toes can become swollen, and you may notice discoloration in your fingernails. Also, psoriatic arthritis usually affects only one or a few joints.
Common risk factors for arthritis include age, sex, weight, and family history. As we age, the risk for many types of arthritis increase. Also, women are more likely to develop certain types of arthritis, such as RA, while men are more likely to develop other types. Additionally, being obese puts you at a greater risk for arthritis. This is because your joints have more stress placed on them.
If you are looking for a Las Vegas pain management doctor to develop a customized arthritis treatment plan, contact Apex Medical Center. We have three locations in the Valley and are dedicated to pain management care.
Image courtesy of stockdevil at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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