Arthritis It's Me, Is It You?

My spirit is still young when I close my eyes and think about myself I think about myself as young, but the truth and frustration is that my body is aging and is older than I’d like, and it shows me it’s older through the pain of arthritis in my feet, ankles, and knees. My Osteoarthritis affects how I walk and do yoga it affects every aspect of my life. First of all and most significant for me is the loss of many pairs of beautiful stiletto high heel shoes that went with my business suits. Most recently I’ve needed a disabled placard so I can park close to the recreation center and shopping. These things make me feel old emotionally, but more significantly is the pain. The physical pain of arthritis I take a pain killer and I have a cream that I rub on that helps me make it through the days and nights.

According to the Mayo clinic website the most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis the pain is what both have in common. But there are serious differences Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to wear away. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. Both cause pain stiffness and swelling decreased range of motion and redness.

Arthritis is a disease that cannot be cured, so any medicine given focuses on pain relief, and includes painkillers, like Tramadol and Oxycontin, but these can be addictive so they are not regularly prescribed. NSAIDs are more frequently prescribed and reduce pain and inflammation. I use Counterirritants which I rub onto my joints the ingredients heat up the area and interfere with pain signals to the brain. There are also Biologic Response Modifiers, but these are for those individuals with Rheumatoid arthritis, and target protein molecules in the body. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. And sometimes there is physical therapy or even surgery.

According to the Center for Disease Control there are 54 million Americans suffering from Arthritis, 24 million are limited in their activities, and 15 million Americans reported severe pain in 2015, and it costs Americans 140 Billion dollars in medical costs annually. These are staggering statistics and show just how prevalent arthritis is.

It’s painful it deforms the body it’s debilitating. It’s me is it you?

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