Arthritis eBook; Chapter 1, What is Arthritis

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS

Chapter 1; Introduction

Arthritis is a term coined from two Greek words, athro (joint) and itis (inflammation). It is a condition whose main presenting symptoms are pain (arthralgia), stiffness and swelling in the joints. Arthritis can affect only one joint (mono articular) or many joints (poly articular) in a person.

The presence of pain and swelling in a joint is a manifestation of an underlying condition.

Prevalence of arthritis

The prevalence of arthritis may vary from country to country. It is hard to come up with definite figures but various studies have provided estimates. An estimated 40 million Americans had arthritis and the number is expected to increase to 59.4 million by the year 2020 (18% increase). This is just an example and figures vary with country.

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Gentle Yoga for Chronic Pain

When Judi Bar was 45 years old, she woke up one morning with debilitating back pain. Diagnosed with spinal stenosis (a degenerative back condition), she was told she had the back of an 85-year-old. “I had to walk with a cane and I kept falling,” says Bar. Her doctor predicted her condition would only worsen and she would need multiple surgeries. Bar wanted to avoid surgery and even stop taking pain medications. After five years of suffering with chronic pain, she started eating a healthier diet, worked to relieve stress and began a regular program of yoga.

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In the News: October 2016

Chronic low back pain is common and a leading cause of disability. Weight loss can potentially prevent the need for knee replacement surgery in people with knee osteoarthritis. Being overweight or obese is known to increase your chances for developing osteoarthritis and it makes symptoms even worse for people who already have it. A sudden knee injury can tear the meniscus, a C-shaped piece of cartilage between the thighbone and shinbone. Meniscal tears also may occur simply as a result of aging because the cartilage can become brittle over time (called degenerative meniscal tears).

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Letter to the Editor re: Combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema in scleroderma-related lung disease has a major confounding effect on lung physiology and screening for pulmonary hypertension

Arthritis & Rheumatology

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How to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones. In 2010, recognizing that the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D—at the time 400 IU per day—was too low, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) raised it to 600 IU per day for people up to age 70 and 800 IU per day for people over age 70. According to Dr. Deal, some people need even more.

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Toe Deformities: What You Should Know

We often take our feet for granted, until something goes wrong. Maintaining the highest level of mobility and independence may depend, at least partly, on taking good care of your feet. If your toes start to bend and won’t straighten, don’t ignore it. The longer toes stay in an unnatural position, the more difficult it will be to correct. “Most people with toe deformities don’t need surgery,” says Georgeanne Botek, DPM, Head of Podiatry at Cleveland Clinic. “Some simple measures often work.”

Arthritis Advisor

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Comments on: “Domsic, Robyn T., et al. “Derivation and External Validation of a Prediction Rule for Five-Year Mortality in Patients With Early Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis.” Arthritis & Rheumatology 68.4 (2016): 993-1003.”

Arthritis & Rheumatology

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