Dr. Bill Simpson describes the condition known as arthritis and talks about its risk factors and treatments.
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What is arthritis? Dr. Bill Simpson: Well, the itis in the word always means inflammation. So an Orth, Ortho is joint and so inflammation in the joint. And there are scores of kinds of arthritis too, but the two most common ones that we talk about are rheumatoid arthritis, and next the crippling arthritis, that causes deformity of the joints, fairly early in the process usually and thus cause people to have difficulty in moving and getting around the way they normally do. The wear and tear arthritis or osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis and that’s kind that of all of us get as we age. It is associated with ageing and we get this, sometimes stiffness, sometimes pain in the joint and may be some limitation of motion, because mostly of pain. What are the risks factors for arthritis? Well, osteoarthritis the wear and tear kind of arthritis, the grown up be arthritis, I like to call rather than the crippling arthritis which is rheumatoid arthritis. That wear and tear arthritis is a gift of chronology. The longer we live, the greater our risk of osteoarthritis developing, because it is a wear and tear disease primarily. It’s a little bit badly named. Its called osteoarthritis. So another Orth and it is. So, an inflammation in the joint and there is not really very inflammation in osteoarthritis. Its sort of low grade inflammation if anything, and its just wearing out, its wearing down of the connection, the junctions between the bones that allow them to move smoothly and without pain and when that wears away, then there is discomfort on movement. When should someone see a doctor about their arthritis? Patient should see a doctor, when their symptoms cause them to have to use medication on a daily basis or cause them not be able to do, what they want to do. That is, if you decide that you are not going to run anymore, because your knees bother you so much, that is a substantial change and you should see your doctor to talk about, may be there is something you can do about your knee pain rather than stopping your exercise pattern. So, mainly its frequency of use of medication, the requirement for the use of medication all the time or sometimes symptoms from the medicines that you are using for your arthritis, because many the medicines that we use for arthritis cause gastrointestinal upset, stomach upset, burning in the stomach and that you get symptom from the medicines you are taking for your arthritis. Then you should certainly see your doctor also. Are there any known preventions for arthritis? Well, a healthy life style is a good thing. So regular physical activity is good. Regular physical activity causes the lubrication of the joints to continue and it encourages a lubrication. So within reason, that’s a very good thing. So weight bearing activity is good thing to produce lubrication in the joints. If you have an abnormal joint, that’s been injured in the past, then sometimes exercise aggravates arthritis. But, if you have a normal joint, exercise is good for arthritis. There are many over the counter natural remedies for arthritis and they have a little bit of literature to support them. The primary one to decrease symptoms or even to prevent problems is glucosamine and glucosamine as opposed to chondroid in so Fadden MSM and some others that have been added for arthritic purposes, it’s the only one that really has the fairly good little to suggest that there is something good for arthritis too. So exercise is very good if a person has pain when they exercise then weight neutral exercise like swimming is very good to keep the joint moving without the weight bearing, or pedaling and exercise bike with almost zero resistance that is also a good way to get exercise without bearing causing weight bearing symptoms. What are the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is a familiar disease that tends to be an increased risk in family members of people who have rheumatoid arthritis we don’t know other ri