Prepare Mag: August 2018 - page 10

10
All About
Arthritis
and a few natural
treatment options.
BY JOE ALTON, MD
The human body is a marvel of engineering. Its dexterity,
strength, and stamina allow amazing feats of athleticism and,
yes, survival in the worst adversity; but wear and tear takes
its toll over time on just about everything with moving parts
(even you). The resulting loss of work efficiency and mobility,
bad enough in normal times, can decrease your chances to
succeed after a major disaster.
The moving parts in our skeletal frame are known as joints.
Each one has varying amounts of range of motion and
strength. They are remarkably durable, but break down with
time and strain. The longer lives of modern humans have,
thus, caused a high prevalence of joint disease called
“arthritis”.
It’s thought that 54 million Americans today suffer from
some form of arthritis, and that the number will rise to 78
million by the year 2040.
Although you might consider
arthritis a disease of the elderly, two-thirds of the cases
occur in pre-retirement age individuals.
Risk factors for arthritis include:
Age: Many types of arthritis are more common as people
get older
Sex: Women are more likely to get certain types, such as
rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more prone to a
form of arthritis known as “gout”.
Family history: Some types of arthritis seem to run in
families.
Injuries: Increased strain can injure joints, which can
eventually lead to arthritis. This is seen in athletes, but
can occur from manual labor or an accident.
Obesity: Those who lead sedentary lifestyles and are
obese suffer long-standing strain on the joints in the
hips, knees, and back, which can lead to arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis may include:
• Pain
• Swelling
• Joint stiffness and decreased range of motion
• Reluctance to use the affected joint due to discomfort
• Accumulation of fluid or other material (like uric acid in
gout) in the joint space
• Muscle weakness (with chronic arthritis)
• Fever (if caused by an infection)
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