Arthritis is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people over the age of 55. Arthritis is a common condition that affects an estimated 8 million people in the UK. One type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is often related to aging or to an injury. Other types occur when your immune system, which normally protects your body from infection, attacks your body's own tissues.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of this kind of arthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of the disease that happens in children. There are many forms of arthritis (over 100 and growing). The forms range from those related to wear and tear of cartilage (such as osteoarthritis) to those associated with inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system. Arthritis is classified as one of the rheumatic diseases. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and many have the potential to affect internal body areas. Women - 24.3 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Men - 17.1 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15. Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability. Many of the forms of arthritis, because they are rheumatic diseases, can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is generally worse in the morning; in the early stages. Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. Nicotine from heavy cigarette smoking appears to slow joint destruction associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical and occupational therapy, and medications (symptomatic or targeted at the disease process causing the arthritis). Arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery) may be required in eroding forms of arthritis. Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants like vitamin E. These are found in fruits and vegetables. Apply capsaicin cream (derived from hot chili peppers) to the skin over your painful joints. Anti-biologics -- these are the most recent breakthrough for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Such medications, including etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade) and adalimumab (Humira), are administered by injection and can dramatically improve your quality of life. Cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors -These drugs block an inflammation-promoting enzyme called COX-2. Corticosteroids ("steroids") -these are medications that suppress the immune system and symptoms of inflammation.

Arthritis Pain Treatment Tips

1. Topical pain killers come as gels, creams, lotions or patches that are applied directly to the skin over your aching joints.
2. Topical prescription medications containing the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac are available in countries outside the United States.
3. Bromelain a proteclytic enzyme present in pineapples helps prevent inflammation.
4. Ginger is a fantastic herb. It has been used for the treatment of many aliments.
5. Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper is another wonderful herb, with a wide range of medical properties to heal the body.
6. Ginkgo biloba have been shown to help with circulation and improve blood flow.
7. Boswellia has been used for thousands of years as a natural anti-inflammatory.
8. Gandhaprasarini inhibited the elevation of serum orosomucoid levels in rats, suggesting the possibility of the presence of disease-modifying antirheumatic activity.

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Author's Bio: 

Juliet Cohen writes articles for home remedies and homemade recipes. Learn how to give first aid in emergency situations.

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This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Arthritis Treatment. The Official Guide to Arthritis Treatment is Margie Garrison. Margie Garrison is an authority on the treatment of arthritis, a self-published author of the book I Cured My Arthritis You Can Too and her free weekly alternative health newsletter, Amazing Secrets To Fantastic Health. Margie has raised four children, walked on fire with Tony Robbins, traveled the country, and appeared as a guest speaker on over 200 radio shows and six TV talk shows. Unable to find answers through traditional medicine, Margie spent several years researching and found an alternative technique that enabled her to be free from her arthritis for over 25 years.

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