Arthritis is a very common but complex disease. A most common symptom is
the joint pains in the different joints in the body. These joints could be
at the elbows, knees, hands, wrists, or even the hips and different parts
of the body. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is caused by
the breakdown and subsequent loss of the cartilage in the joints.
A cartilage is a rubbery tissue (soft bone) that cushions bones at the joints.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by any constant activity that wears and tears
the cartilage. Thus, excessive running or jogging for many years, when
the joints are pounded by the weight of the body, may eventually lead to
osteoarthritis. Obesity also increases the chance of an individual in
acquiring arthritis since the heavy weight of the body stresses the knees.
Some individuals are born with abnormal joints. These joints are susceptible
to more wear and tear. Persons with this condition should take care in
not over-stressing the joints unnecessarily.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that
causes chronic inflammation of the joints, and sometimes an inflammation of
the tissue around the joints and other organs of the body. Autoimmune
diseases are diseases wherein the body's immune system attacks its own tissues.
The immune system is the body's defense against infection and intruders.
The antibodies in individuals with autoimmune diseases attack their own
body tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis may lead to the destruction of the
cartilage, bones and ligaments. There is no known correlation between the
pain caused by arthritis and the amount of damage to the joints.
Arthritis becomes more common in aged individuals. However, there are cases
when persons below 45 already experience the symptoms of arthritis. A good
way to prevent arthritis is by maintaining a body weight proportional with
your body mass and height. Obesity is a leading cause of arthritis. One
avoids obesity by moderating the intake of fattening food. Those with
acute obesity are advised to see a physician for the proper advice.
Contemporary research indicates that arthritis is one of the health problems
resulting from obesity, including heart problems and high blood pressure.
The best prevention to arthritis is not to put undue stress to the joints.
This means having the proper warm-up routines before exercising, taking periods
of rest when engaging in physically stressful work, and relaxing
the joints by stretching and exercising the joints, especially when taking
long car or plane rides. Daily exercise is also recommended as a preventive
measure for arthritis.
Taking in calcium strengthens the bones and the cartilage. Thus, the proper
dose of calcium supplements would help in reducing the risk of arthritis.
New research findings indicate that the vitamin D absorbed by your skin from
the sun makes the bones stronger. That is because vitamin D has a relevant
effect on the health of the bones. But during fall and winter, where one
is not so much exposed to sunlight, there is not much body absorption of
vitamin D. Hence, it is advisable to take in supplements of this vitamin
to continue giving strength to the bone during the less sunlight seasons.