Arthritis is a group of conditions involving inflammation in the joints of the body. The word ‘arthritis’ literally translates from the Greek for joint (arthro) and inflammation (itis). There are over one hundred different forms of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease). Learn how you can help treat Arthritis with Acupuncture. Acupuncture can help treat and relieve symptoms of Acupuncture.
As the population ages, arthritis has easily become one of the most common health problems faced by Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of three Americans is affected by some form of the disorder.
The major symptom experienced by individuals with arthritis is pain, which is caused by inflammation around the joint. Other effects include swelling, joint stiffness, fatigue, fever, weight loss, insomnia, and the inability to use the affected joint (among many others).
Aside from trauma, the most common causes of arthritis are aging, environment, heredity, and infection. Treatment for arthritis varies by specific type of condition, but usually includes some form of anti-inflammatory or pain medication.
The most common classes of drugs prescribed for arthritis patients include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, and corticosteroids. NSAIDs work by interfering with the inflammatory process. Over time, however, they can lead to serious kidney and liver damage. In fact, NSAIDs are one of the leading causes of death in this country. Analgesics suppress the pain mechanism without addressing the cause of pain. More often known as ‘painkillers,’ these medications leave arthritis sufferers vulnerable to addiction problems and other damaging side effects. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation while suppressing immune system activity and can contribute to a number of unpleasant and dangerous health issues (such as headache, puffiness or moon face, elevated blood sugar, sodium retention, etc.).