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How to Improve Achy Joints

Joint stiffness or pain that interferes with activities such as getting dressed, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of your car could mean you have arthritis.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. Symptoms usually develop over time, but may appear suddenly. Arthritis is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

What causes it?

Arthritis is caused by the breakdown of the connective tissue in your joints. This breakdown could be from normal wear and tear, or the result of an injury or disease in the joint.

What are the signs?

Common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness
  • Reduced ability to move the joint
  • Joints that appear red or warm to the touch

The two main types of arthritis

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to your joint’s cartilage from wear and tear. This can occur over many years and results in pain and decreased joint movement.  

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack a thin membrane that lines the joints. The cause is unknown but a combination of genetics, hormones, and environmental factors are believed to contribute to causing rheumatoid arthritis.  

5 ways to improve achy joints

1. Eat a healthy diet 

Reduce stress on your joints by maintaining a healthy weight. 

2. Stay active

Moderate exercise can help strengthen muscles around joints. 

3. Make activities in your home easier

Make activities in your home easier by installing grab bars in the shower, tub, and near the toilet. 

4. Reduce pain

Apply heat or cold to reduce pain and stiffness in joints. Also, massage therapy and acupuncture may be able to reduce pain from arthritis. 

5. Talk to your doctor

Vitamins, mineral sup­plements, and over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, or cream containing capsaicin may be able to relieve arthritis pain. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you. 

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