Have you ever rolled out of bed paralyzed by the pain that you felt in your lower back, and your only relief was when you took a hot shower? Do your joints ache right before it rains? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then you have arthritis.
It is a rheumatic disease that causes inflammation of the joints, stiffness, and deformity. There are more than one hundred different types of arthritis that may affect multiple parts of the body. The most common forms are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis, and gout and can affect people of all ages.
Symptoms can come and go, be mild, moderate, or severe, and progressively get worse over time. Yet, no matter how painful it may be to move, it’s important to keep as active as possible. Staying immobile will cause your joints to become stiffer and weaker, making it difficult to walk or stand.
The use of NSAIDs, warm compresses, and warm showers will be most effective.
Arthritis can be diagnosed during a physical exam with your general practitioner (GP) or primary care physician (PCP). It can also be seen on X rays. Lab work can be used to rule out other types of arthritis. It can be treated by either your GP, PCP, pain management specialist, or rheumatologist. However, it is best to follow up with a rheumatologist because he/she specializes in the management of ongoing treatment of inflammatory arthritis and complications. Furthermore, if the disease affects your eyes, skin, or salivary glands, please consult with an ophthalmologist, dermatologist, and dentist as soon as possible.
Africa Studio. (2019). Senior woman suffering from backache at home. [Image]. Retrieved from
CDC. (2019). Arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/index.htm.