It may not be an exaggerated statement to say that computer has crippled the bones of modern man. Actually arthritis is an umbrella term used to denote more than 100 medical conditions of bone joints. It may not be surprising to note that more than 46 million adults and 300,000 children are affected with Arthritis in America alone. Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system and specifically the joints where two or more bones meet. Most common form of arthritis condition called osteoarthritis (OA) is most prevalent in elderly people over the age of 60. Women are affected more in their child-rearing years. Some forms of arthritis can affect people at a very early age.
How does arthritis affect the body?
Bone joints in the human body are covered by a tough, smooth tissue which enables easy gliding against one another in the bone joints. Arthritis affects these bone joints causing pain, stiffness, inflammation and damage to joint cartilage and surrounding structures. Such damage leads to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities in the bone joints and hinders normal tasks of the day. These patients find difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, using a computer keyboard, cutting food items or even brushing their teeth.
How to recognize the signs of arthritis?
)The four signs that are called cardinal signs of arthritis include pain, swelling, redness and difficulty in moving. All these four signs may not be present at the same time. But they are warning signs.
2) Other warning signs that may be seen are early morning stiffness, warm sensation in a joint, general weakness combined with joint pain, pain increase during the weather changes, and sometimes cracking sounds in the bone joints while moving.
3) One can notice intensified ache in joints while doing some exercise. This is usually the first sign of arthritis.
4) There may be a stiffness experienced in one or more joints in the morning while getting up from bed and the stiffness and uneasiness may typically subside after 15 to 30 minutes of moving about. This also is an early sign of arthritis.
5) Range of motion in the afflicted joint may be associated with a creaking sound accompanied with pain. One cannot bend or move freely.
6) Hot sensation may be experienced in joints which can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Cold sensation and hardness in joints may be a sign of osteoarthritis. This osteoarthritis may be accompanied with gout pain or joint infection.
7) If there is joint pain in one bone joint, it may be felt in the other parallel member also. For example, if there is joint inflammation in some of the fingers of the right hand, the same kind of pain may be experienced in the corresponding left hand fingers also. This is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
8) Fatigue is generally seen in arthritis. The more active the disease, the more tired the arthritis patient will likely be. It is because his body is using more energy resources to fight the joint pain and fatigue is the result of this fight.
9) The Ayurveda says that arthritis is caused primarily by an excess of imbalance between the body humors. This imbalance can be caused by poor digestion and a weakened colon, resulting in the accumulation of undigested food and the buildup of waste matter. Poor digestion causes accumulation of toxins in the body and these toxins, in turn, cause arthritic pains.