There are many different types of arthritis that individuals can be diagnosed with. I have found that this is a very high topic of conversation especially as we age. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis . Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis affects joint linings, causing painful swelling. This type of arthritis is usually something that does have a genetic component but more importantly a chronic full body inflammation is noticed.
Osteoarthritis is something that is more common when looking at these two forms of arthritis. This affects a vast majority of our population especially those over the age of 55 years old. However, there is a common misconception about how we develop this arthritis. I often hear patients that are told osteoarthritis is a result of older age and living and that it is inevitable to develop at some point. This is not true, and we know this especially looking at recent research. Osteoarthritis develops when there is abnormal structure in an area and then we continue to move and perform everyday activities. As this abnormal structural alignment is left to just continue moving in that direction, eventually our joints are going to degenerate due to these abnormal circumstances. The whole point of arthritis is actually a very intelligent response by the body because our brain recognizes that the joints are no longer like they once were and this begins to get unstable as degeneration happens. The result is the body beginning to surround the joint with bone in order to stabilize the unstable joint. Obviously this has other implications affecting not only our quality of life, but also affecting other tissues in the region.
So what would be the preventive solution to combat osteoarthritis? It would be to maintain good joint structure and alignment to prevent abnormal wear and tear on the joint surfaces. Movement is also very important once things are lined back up because this will help with increased fluid flow in and out of the area. That will remove debris that may have been present from the previous damage. The downside to this is that there isn’t a way to get rid of osteoarthritis once it has formed. The bone that is being laid down by the body will not be reabsorbed even if structure has been returned to normal. Once again, this is why the key to keeping our body built up and preventing issues is always the better choice.