Do you suffer from arthritis? Or, do you know someone who suffers? Normal because arthritis is a fairly common disease.
Did you know that the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey identifies 4.8 million Canadians over the age of 15 who have been diagnosed with arthritis? And, in 2016, this figure has risen to 6.1 million? With the aging of the population, the number of people affected by arthritis is growing.
The survey also reveals a preponderance of women struggling with the problem. The older they get, the more arthritis they have. Older women are therefore the group most affected by the disease.
But, good news if you are Québécois! The proportion of people living in the beautiful province with a diagnosis of arthritis is lower than the national average, with a rate of 11% versus 16.5% for all Canadians.
But why is arthritis so painful? In fact, the pain caused by arthritis comes from a deterioration of cartilage. Consequently, when it is affected by arthritis, it no longer fulfills it’s function of bone protection because it does not absorb shock well.
The pain is then felt in the knees, hips or hands and feet. In addition, arthritis can also cause swelling, stiffness or cracking of the joints. It makes the lives of people who suffer from it difficult.
Have you sustained joint injuries in the past? Or, one of your parents was affected? If so, you are unfortunately more likely to suffer from arthritis. Even though the disease is not hereditary, genetics is an important factor in the development of arthritis. A study conducted in France on patients with rheumatoid arthritis has shown that the risks increase in the children of those affected; 2% for boys and 6% for girls.
Are you overweight? So you are more likely to suffer from the disease. But why? Simply because of the extra tension that the weight exerts on their joints. The same goes for the sedentary lifestyle because the overall weakening of the muscles leads to greater pressure on the joints.
Arthritis is considered a chronic disease; it can not be healed. Research is progressing in the field, but unfortunately, we have not yet succeeded in curbing the disease! How to live with this suffering? Which solutions to turn to? Of course, depending on the type of arthritis, the pharmacological approach can be effective. But because it is a chronic disease, taking long-term medication leads people to consider other options to relieve their pain.
From a lifestyle perspective, why not consider weight loss? It’s proven! People who are overweight must reduce the pressure on their joints; a 5% weight loss in 5 months helps reduce knee pain.
Can eating well provide relief? Yes! The Arthritis Society recommends reducing sugar, focusing on a diet rich in colorful plants, and promoting healthy fats such as omega-3s.
For her part, nutrition doctor Isabelle Huot puts forward the conclusions of research that prove the benefits of antioxidants in the relief of arthritis. Did you know that their function is to neutralize free radicals? That’s how it protects the joints and help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. Try it!
Move! One of the myths about arthritis is that the joints affected by it must be left to rest. Error! People benefit greatly from practicing physical activities. Physiotherapists or occupational therapists recommend appropriate exercises that promote mobility, strengthening and maintenance of cardiovascular capacity.
Stretching, weight-bearing activities such as walking, dancing or tennis as well as cycling are good examples. Because we must always keep in mind that the important thing is to keep the joints moving to stop the deterioration of cartilage.
Another solution is to give yourself a moment of respite from pain by doing something good for yourself! Why not treat yourself to massage therapy, acupuncture or meditation? You can also take natural supplements! More and more people with arthritis are finding relief. Studies show that those are beneficial by reducing the symptoms of the disease. In this respect, glucosamine has proved itself. You probably know someone in your entourage who boasts the merits?
However, there are new products on the market that are popular with people with arthritis. They combine the action of glucosamine, chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). The complementary properties of these products produce good results; they even act on the preservation of the cartilages. The OsteoArthryl + product, approved by Health Canada, is a good example. Try it!
If you think you have arthritis or have a diagnosis, know that the Arthritis Society has been working since 1948 to make life better for people with the disease and manage their disease.
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