Arthritis is a condition of joint inflammation which can affect one or more joints throughout the body. The two most common types of arthritis are Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis. This mostly affects the joints but if systemic, it can affect the skin and other body parts. Inflammation is on the rise nowadays with the rise in stress, unhealthy diet and bad lifestyle habits.
Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear joint disease where the changes in the joint can lead to pain, inflammation and malfunction. This most commonly develops in knees, hips, hands and spine. Osteoarthritis is more common in the elderly population, as well as sports players that overuse certain joints, depending on the type of sport.
While osteoarthritis is more of a ‘wear and tear’ situation and non systemic, Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic auto-immune condition. This occurs when the bodies immune system has a shift and attacks it’s own body cells. This is more common in women (75% of the diagnosis are in women). Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints on both sides and systemically affect skin, eyes, lungs and other organs. This can start at any age but typically starts later in life.
While conventional treatment may ease the pain, it takes more than pain medications to address the inflammation aspect and autoimmunity. Luckily, naturopathic medicine is great at treating arthritis and autoimmunity using evidence based natural medicine approach.