Arthritis is a major cause of disability in Australia affecting people of all ages and walks of life.

Arthritis is not a single condition. Arthritis literally means inflammation of the joint. There are over 150 kinds of arthritis, all of which affect one or more joints in the body.

The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus)
  • Septic arthritis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA); and
  • Gout

which accounts for 90% of all arthritis cases.

One in 1,000 children is diagnosed with Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, while it is estimated that three in every 1,000 children live with the condition but remain undiagnosed.

Arthritis is often misinterpreted as simply a disease which affects elderly people when in fact, arthritis diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 60 years account for 60% of the cases. Arthritis affects 3.4 million Australians, 16.7% of the population. Of the proportion of Australians affected, 60.4% are women. About 60% of all people living with arthritis are of working age.

Cause of Arthritis

Due to the fact that there are over 150 different types of arthritis, there is no single cause or list of causes for arthritis. Often, several factors contribute to an individual developing this common problem.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement, and sometimes swelling. This disease can also affect other parts of the body.

Some types of arthritis are the following:

  • Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects joints in the body and is characterised by damage to the surface of the joint. The main symptoms are pain and sometimes mild stiffness. The condition is sometimes referred to as osteoarthrosis, arthrosis, or degenerative joint disease (DJD). The cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as one bone begins to rub against another opposing bone.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types affecting mostly women. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. Symptoms such as pain, swelling of the joints and stiffness in the morning may occur.
  • Gout is often said to be the most painful of all the rheumatic diseases. Although it can’t be cured, it can be treated. Gout can affect men of any age. Women rarely develop it before menopause but may do so as they age. So with people living longer, there are more women with gout today than previous eras. A tendency to get gout may be inherited from a parent or a grandparent. People get gout because there is something unusual about the chemical processes that take place within their bodies. A substance called urate builds up as crystals in the joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet. This includes eliminating foods and drinks that are high in purines (eg. alcohol, shellfish and organ meats). This is not a comprehensive list, but may act as a guide.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the spine. Spondylitis simply means inflammation of the spine. As the inflammation dies down, new bone forms replacing the more flexible tendons and ligaments between the vertebrae. Eventually, the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse) resulting in stiffness of the spine (ankylosis). This mainly occurs in males and may be genetic in nature.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Most children won’t have lasting problems from childhood arthritis. JIA doesn’t turn into rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood. Having juvenile idiopathic arthritis doesn’t mean that your child will go on to develop adult forms of arthritis.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.
  • Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) condition that can cause widespread muscle pain. There aren’t usually any outward signs of fibromyalgia, but the pain and tiredness associated with this illness are very real, in which widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women and may often lead to anxiety and depression in chronic, long standing cases.

Preventing Arthritis

As the specific causes of the different types of arthritis remain unclear, it is difficult to say what may assist in the prevention of the development of arthritis. However, listed below are a few steps which may be beneficial in reducing the effects of arthritis.

  • Maintain appropriate weight.
  • Regularly exercise to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • Protect joints from overuse and injuries.
  • Eat a healthy diet as nutrients are vital for joint health.
  • Hydrate your body. Water makes up 70% of the cartilage in joints and plays a major role in the lubrication and shock absorbing properties of healthy joints.
  • Ensure that your spine and extremities are moving optimally.

Treating Arthritis

There are many drugs and medications available to treat arthritis with varying success. Another option is alternate therapies such as chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy to name a few. Activity is also important – Use It or Lose It.
Some Natural Therapies that are also know to help include:

  • SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine)
  • Boswellia Serrate (Indian frankincense)
  • Capsaicin (Capsicum frutescens)
  • Tumeric/Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
  • Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
  • Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA)
  • Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Source: Arthritis Foundation

So, if you are looking for a Chiropractor in East Bentleigh, Moorabbin, Bentleigh, South Oakleigh, Oakleigh, Hughesdale, Murrumbeena, Carnegie, Ormond, McKinnon and Heatherton to help manage arthritis, back pain, neck pain, headaches, stiffness, arthritis, sciatica or other symptoms associated with arthritis, call the East Bentleigh Health Group to see a chiropractic on 9579 3999.

Better Health Care is Our Mission

(03) 9579 3999

884 Centre Road, East Bentleigh, VIC 3165