It’s quite common for people to associate Arthritic symptoms old age and the elderly but it actually affects people of all ages, including children. It’s a relatively common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints.
Did you know around 10 million people in the UK have arthritis? National Arthritis Week is designed to raise awareness of the condition and encourage individuals to keep and eye out for symptoms.
Arthritis is something that’s affected the females in my own family for years. My Grandmother suffered for many years before she died and sadly my Mam seems to have inherited it too. The older she gets the worse her symptoms become. My Mam is a rather sprightly 60 year old who has taken a vast array of medication for the last 30 years due to severe Crohn’s disease. Various Doctors and Consultants seem to think this has triggered the onset of Arthritis (her symptoms became apparent when she was around 40). Rather sadly, she struggles with simple tasks like removing a lid from a jar, making up a bottle for my little boy or simply doing up buttons. It’s quite sad.
Whilst I don’t have Arthritis myself ( and fingers crossed it stays that way) I can relate to joint pain and stiffness as I suffer from Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine which is an extremely painful congenital disease which unfortunately for me was only diagnosed when I was 24. I’d suffered back problems since I was a young child but it was never picked up. I also have one leg slightly shorter than the other which has caused my hips to misaligned and Hypermobility – I’m such a joy!
First thing on a morning my Mam’s hands are unuseable, she has to do a selection of exercises recommended by her Physio to ‘get them started’ so she can get dressed.
The two main types of Arthritis are –
Osteoarthritis affects the smooth cartilage lining of your joint, making movement more difficult than usual and causing pain and stiffness. It most commonly affects the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease which means your immune system attacks the cells in the lining of your joints by mistake which in turn makes the swell, stiff and feel painful.
Obviously there is a history of Arthritis in my family so I think it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of the condition.
Pay attention to your body, if something doesn’t feel quite right – it probably isn’t. So go and get checked out.