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5 things to know when dealing with arthritis

So what exactly is arthritis? The term arthritis refers to having problems with joints. Thus, arthritis is the swelling of one or more of your joints which lead to chronic pain, inflammation, loss of motion and stiffness. Flare-ups can also be very unpredictable. Therefore, first thing to know about arthritis is that it is painful. It affects millions of people in America and having a deeper understanding of it can assist reduce its impact. Below are the 10 things to know when dealing with arthritis. 1) Kinds of arthritis The two main types of the condition are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but the symptoms are similar and can easily be confused. Osteoarthritis affects the joints and prevents them moving smoothly. Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term, auto-immune condition that mainly affects the hands, feet and wrists, causing pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. You may also experience problems elsewhere in your body, or even have other, vaguer symptoms like extreme tiredness or weight loss. You may even develop rheumatoid nodules, which are fleshy lumps that appear on your hands, feet or below the elbows. 2) It does not only affect your hands As demonstrated above, the different kinds of arthritis can affect different body parts, not just the hands. Osteoarthritis can affect your knees, shoulders, hips and back. The pain you experience can limit your ability to work and even limit your day to day activities. 3) There is no cure Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed but this doesn't mean its hopeless. You can manage the pain if you get an early diagnosis and follow appropriate treatment. Managing the pain is done through painkillers, supported by physiotherapy to regain muscle power. Surgery for joint replacement may be required, especially for knee and hip patients. 4) Flare ups are difficult to predict, but will happen It's a simple fact, some days will be better than others. There are treatments available which can help ease the pain and support the joints afflicted. Your doctor is there to help. 5) Keeping active helps Talk to your doctor before doing this, but many people find great relief by exercising. Arthritis Research UK has found that the main symptoms of osteoarthritis can ease as people exercise. Be sure to consult with a doctor and fitness instructor before attempting anything. If you are dealing with arthritis, be sure to keep these 10 things to know when dealing with arthritis in mind. red bridesmaid dresses long