There are many types of arthritis. ArthritisHowever, if you have had progressive pain and stiffness in one or more of your joints, it is likely you have the most common one called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is frequently referred to as “bone-on-bone” arthritis because the slick cartilage that covers and cushions the bones of the joint has worn away, exposing the bone beneath it. The body tries to protect the exposed bone by thickening it, creating bone spurs which only make the problem worse.

This degenerative joint disease can be caused by trauma, infection or genetics. Most of the time it is caused by “too many birthdays”.

The treatment for osteoarthritis can vary depending on the severity of the joint destruction. Early disease treatments can include heat and cold application, joint fluid removal, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. More advanced disease may require join injections and finally surgery.

Remember, if you have been diagnosed with arthritis, it is an opportunity to evaluate your life in new and healthy ways. At every stage of osteoarthritis, it is important to maintain an ideal body weight, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Learn to accept your limitations, and concentrate on your abilities, rather than on your disabilities. Set realistic goals but do not expect perfection. Pay attention to your mental health – make sure you sleep well, laugh often, pursue personal interests and hobbies and seek help for depression if necessary.