Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and involves wear-and-tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly, and provides shock absorption when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when walking. If enough of the cartilage degenerates, it can result in bone grinding on bone, which can cause pain, inflammation, stiffness and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be triggered by a joint injury or infection.
Arthritis often causes pain during movement. In order to avoid the pain, many individuals will avoid movement of the arthritic joint. Unfortunately, lack of movement in the joints can make the condition worse. Joints were meant to move! Movement helps to flush out inflammation, lubricate the joints, and condition the muscles. Successful treatment to help manage arthritis involves maintaining strong muscles, joint mobility, flexibility, endurance, and a healthy weight – all of which can be accomplished through conservative treatment.