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Any pain or disease associated with the joints is known as arthritis. Joints are connectors between join bones. They are made up of various parts that work together to enable easy body movement
within certain limits. The layers at the end of each bone are covered by a thin layer of cartilage which cushions the joints. Its slippery surfaces allow the bones to move without friction. Narrowing the cartilage and lubricating the joints is a thick fluid produced by the inner surface of the joint capsule. The capsule is a tough fibrous sleeve that stops the bone from moving too much. To avoid the incurable arthritis, it is necessary to know how to prevent it. This includes:
    Ø  Use of joints in more stable positions.
    Ø  Spread weight over several joints when carrying heavy objects.
    Ø  Take note of any joint pain, it may just be a warning sign.
    Ø  Avoid positions that tilt towards deformity.
Several forms of arthritis exist but the most common forms are:
·         Rheumatoid arthritis: This occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly targets own joints.  Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
The outer lining of the joint is the first place that is affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint's shape. This may cause the bone and cartilage to break down.
People with rheumatoid arthritis may develop problems with other tissues and organs in their body. The symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, joint stiffness, tender and swollen joints.
·         Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of arthritis. Initially, it affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement more difficult than usual which eventually leads to pain and stiffness. It occurs due to the wearing out of the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones.
Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in the body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine. Severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone rubbing on bone, altering the shape of the joint and forcing the bones out of their normal position. Symptoms include loss of flexibility, pain, grating sensation and bone spurs (hard lumps of bone around the joints).
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can be effectively managed, although the harm caused cannot be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and other treatments may slow progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.
The following activities can help patients of arthritis to better manage the pain that comes with arthritis.
Ø  Exercise regularly: This helps you to maintain bone strength and improve balance
Ø  Relax: Find time to cope with stress
Ø  Manage pain with heat or cold pads
Osteoarthritis management will also require:
Ø  Weight management
Ø  Use of assisting devices
Ø  Use of shoe inserts or knee taping 

 By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi


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