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World Arthritis Day
World Arthritis Day is all about raising awareness and supporting individuals living with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Arthritis causes pain and inflammation of the joints and more than 10 million people in the UK suffer from this condition.
What are the types of Arthritis?
There are 2 common types of arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) affects nearly 9 million people and is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. This type of arthritis develops in adults in their mid-40s and over. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage lining of the joint which becomes rough due to movement and in turn, leads to pain and stiffness.
Eventually, this causes swelling and forms bony spurs called osteophytes. The most common joints effected by this type of arthritis are:
In the UK, more than 400,000 people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This type of arthritis is a long term autoimmune condition which often occurs between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Did you know, women are 3 times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis than men?
There is no cure for RA, the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and causes pain and swelling in multiple joints.
It’s important to detect rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible to slow down and minimise the effects. Ideally, you should start taking medication within the first three months of the first symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Depending on the type of arthritis, the main symptoms to be aware of are joint pain, tenderness, inflammation and restricted movement. In RA, look out for the ‘S’ factor:
- Stiffness: Be aware of stiffness in the joints, particularly in the morning that lasts for more than 30 minutes or into the day.
- Swollen: Are you aware of any swelling around the joints and are they hot to touch?
- Squeeze: Are you experiencing any pain in the affected joint when you squeeze it?
Living with Arthritis
Arthritis is a life-changing condition and has long term effects, not just physically, but it can have an effect on your mental wellbeing too. Some people with arthritis miss out on simple pleasures in life such as socialising with friends as well as working which could cause loss of income.
Depending on the level of pain, everyday tasks may become more difficult and can take longer to accomplish.
It’s important to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing with the help of loved ones around you. Staying fit and healthy is important to help you manage the pain.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from any of the above symptoms, then arrange to see your GP as soon as possible, an early diagnosis can mean your pain can be managed before it gets worse.
Pre-existing Conditions We can offer you cover for up to two pre-existing conditions, including arthritis with our Private Health Insurance. Get a free, no-obligation quote today and find out how little health insurance could cost you!
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