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What Is Arthritis?

What is arthritis? The term arthritis is generally used to describe inflammation, swelling and pain in joints or a joint. Arthritis is not a single condition and unfortunately, there are many different kinds. Around 10 million Americans are believed to have arthritis. There are different types of arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Juvenile arthritis typically begins in early childhood and often has no apparent signs.

Treatment of arthritis can vary depending on how serious the condition is and also whether or not the arthritis is chronic. Treatment for moderate to severe arthritis will most likely include a combination of medication and physical therapy to help reduce the symptoms and the impact of joint damage. Medications used for treatment of arthritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. Joint pain is often helped by applying heat and ice or using hot and cold compresses. Exercise, yoga and deep massages can also be very beneficial when treating arthritis. In some cases surgery may be required to repair joint damage.

Do not try to diagnose your own condition if you are unsure about what arthritis is. Your doctor is fully capable of doing that. It would be irresponsible for you to attempt to self-diagnose what arthritis is or even to suggest it to a friend or relative who may be at risk of developing it. If you do suspect that you have arthritis, then don’t attempt to treat it yourself unless you are under the supervision of a professional. As always your doctor will advise you on the best course of action when it comes to any type of disease or illness.