Arthritis Awareness Month: Early Detection and Treatment of Arthritis
Arthritis Awareness Month brings attention to those dealing with this type of chronic pain and their loved ones to help detect early symptoms and follow the right steps to ensure proper care and treatment. While it’s important to consult a physician to determine whether you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of arthritis, there are some indicatives clues.
While joint pain can simply be a part of aging, it is also a key sign of arthritis, and it shouldn’t be assumed that chronic pain is just something an aging person has to accept. It’s also particularly important to tell your doctor upon the initial onset of the joint pain to help preserve joint health. It can be difficult to self-diagnose because according to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 types of the disease and related conditions, and symptoms can vary vastly. For example, some people may experience intense surging pain lasting for hours, while others may have a slow onset of pain. Other symptoms aside from joint pain can include swelling, stiffness, or seemingly unrelated issues such as fatigue or even a rash.
Once you notice pain or any of the symptoms in yourself, or if a loved one is experiencing them, it’s important to see your general physician who may then refer you to a rheumatologist that specializes in joint pain. Treatment plans can include physical therapy, medication or acupuncture. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, complete with proper eating habits combined with appropriate physical activity is also important for joint health longevity prior to onset of early arthritis, but may also be a critical part of self-care once pain does set in. Emotional support for the arthritis suffer is vital to their acceptance and treatment maintenance. If you have a loved one in your life that is having trouble dealing with their diagnosis, make sure they know they can count on you.