FINDING HELP FOR ARTHRITIS PAIN
When you experience an injury, dealing with the pain that comes as part of the aftermath is expected. While painful, most of the time when recovering from an injury you can find comfort in the knowledge that the pain is temporary. As your body heals, as you go through the motions of building your muscle mass back and improving flexibility with physical therapy, you know that in time you will feel like yourself again. This knowledge gives you something to work towards, and helps the pain feel more manageable—even when it is intense, and never-fleeting. Arthritis pain is different. Arthritis doesn’t develop as a result of an injury, but instead develops over time as a result of chronic use, or even as a result of genetic disposition. This can make dealing with the pain of arthritis even more difficult to cope with, as it begs the question: if the pain is coming from inside the joint, is there anything I can actually do about it? Understanding Arthritis Pain Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition to affect the joints. Almost 30 million adults in the United States struggle with the condition, and while it can influence anyone of any age, it most
frequently develops among those who are most prone to overuse— those who are over the age of 65. Arthritis occurs when there is a breakdown of the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. This cartilage is what allows the joints in the elbows, ankles, knees and hips to move with freedom. Without cartilage, the bones would rub against one another with each movement, and would cause extreme pain. As the cartilage breaks down, so, typically, does the bone, and as the shape of the joint changes it becomes even more difficult for it to function smoothly. Furthermore, the ligaments and tendons around the joint will often stiffen, and the muscles surrounding the joint will weaken, making it altogether more difficult and painful to move. While arthritis pain typically develops gradually, the realization of what you are dealing with can still come as a shock. In some circumstances the pain will appear more abruptly, especially when the pain develops in association with a change in weather or other environmental circumstance.
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