Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated April 10, 2009)
You often hear about arthritis coming on as one gets older, arthritis as a symptom of growing older. If you're thinking you might have arthritis or fear that you are experiencing symptoms, you need to know what to do. You need to go see your doctor, first of all, because you need a proper diagnosis. Arthritis is painful, and you shouldn't have to suffer with it for so long. Here are a few tips for you to employ as you go about treating your arthritis pain.
Arthritis is connected to joint pan, and so can basically occur anywhere. If you think you're experiencing joint pain, go and see your doctor, because you want to make sure that you have the right diagnosis. Joint pain doesn't automatically mean arthritis—it could mean something worse, perhaps. Doctors know how to correctly diagnose arthritis, and they'll be able to give you the proper treatment and pain relief.
The most common forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis can also accompany other diseases (hence the need to see a doctor—if you have a disease of which arthritis is a symptom, it's important to identify that disease). Diseases of which arthritis is a function include certain forms of lupus, hepatitis, and lyme disease. There are also diseases that may imitate arthritis: osteoporosis, fifth disease, multiple myeloma, and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy.
You can treat arthritis in many different ways. Treatment depends on the type of arthritis and some treatments include physical and occupational therapies. Other forms of treatment include changes in lifestyle, dietary supplements, and medications. If the arthritis is severe enough, you might need to have a joint replacement surgery (called arthroplasty). If you exercise regularly, you an often reduce the severity of your arthritis; so, if your arthritis permits you to exercise, then you definitely should. Your doctor can also prescribe medications to help you with the pain with your arthritis. There are various forms of medication that perform in different ways, so you need to make sure that what you do take is right for your specific type of arthritis. So, talk to your doctor and you both can determine the best way to approach your arthritis. You don't have to live with arthritic pain!
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