Arthritis & It’s Presentation
Arthritis is a condition characterized by swelling and tenderness of a joint in the body. Depending on the type of arthritis that you have been diagnosed with, sometimes it is related to an underlying disease (such as auto-immune conditions, infections or tumors) and sometimes it is a symptom of poor mechanics or movement (either due to posture or old injuries).
A diagnosis of arthritis should be properly done following imaging such as x-rays, MRI or CT scans. Some types of arthritic conditions also have markers that can be picked up on blood tests. However, having arthritis does not always mean that you immediately have pain. This is why some people will get diagnosed during routine tests and imaging. For instance, osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.
Uric acid crystals, which form when there’s too much uric acid in your blood, can cause gout. Infections or underlying disease, such as psoriasis or lupus, can cause other types of arthritis.
Even if pain and limitation in movement has not affected you yet, you should determine what steps you should be taking depending on the type of arthritis you have to prevent these issues from getting worse or occurring in the first place. Symptoms will typically worsen with time from onset (not always age dependant).
The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
- You have to stop exercising and lifting weights because of your arthritis.
Generally speaking, this is not true. If you have decreased bone density due to a disease that has caused your arthritis then exercises and load bearing movements might not be appropriate for you. However, most people will at some point develop osteoarthritis (OA). In this case, movement through appropriate exercises is advisable and appropriate for you. Make sure you speak to your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.
- You are not a good candidate for chiropractic, massage therapy or physical therapy because of arthritis.
There are many ways a trained health-care provider can help you with symptoms arising from your arthritis and the rate at which your arthritis is progressing. Our providers help patients with arthritis all the time.
- You will always have to take medication now because you have arthritis.
Although sometimes appropriate based on the type of arthritis you have, medication is not the only answer. Mechanical issues related to arthritis require a mechanical solution to be properly addressed.
- Arthritis is inevitable because you are getting older.
It is true that our bodies will degenerate to a certain extent as we get older. However, what we always educate our patients on is that asymmetrical or premature wear and tear of a joint is completely preventable. Majority of people who have age related arthritic changes will not loose function and have severe pain. In the case of osteoarthritis, these symptoms are related to poor movement and posture and can be addressed if caught early.