There’s no cure for arthritis, but there are plenty of treatments available to slow the condition down and minimise pain. There are many forms of arthritis and each type will need slightly different treatments.
Types of arthritis
There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and related conditions, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the 2 most common types.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, with nearly 9 million people in the UK suffering from the condition.
This type of arthritis often runs in the family and is most common in those in women in their mid-40s and older.
This type mainly impacts the hands, spine, knees and hips. and is often a result of injury or other joint-related conditions.
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Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people in the UK and starts when a person is between 40 to 50.
Women are three times more likely to be affected by this type than men.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system rather than injury.
So how do you know which form of arthritis you have? And how can you treat it?
How to diagnose arthritis
Arthritis symptoms vary from type to type. You should get a diagnosis from your doctor if you are experiencing:
• joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
• inflammation in and around the joints
• restricted movement of the joints
• warm red skin over the affected joint
• weakness and muscle wasting
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How to treat arthritis
Although there’s no cure for arthritis, there are many treatments that can help slow it down.
For those with osteoarthritis, treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery.
Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis aims to slow the condition down, minimise inflammation and joint damage.
To treat rheumatoid arthritis you will need medication, physiotherapy or surgery.
Does turmeric help arthritis?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, turmeric – the root of a plant related to ginger – can treat arthritis.
We all know turmeric as a key ingredient for curries, but it is also a staple in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.
The main chemical in turmeric is called Curcumin or Curcuma longa, and it reportedly reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The chemical is also a natural remedy for a similar ailment called bursitis.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends choosing curcumin extract, since whole turmeric is often contaminated with lead.
AA Healthcare said: “Curcumin modifies the inflammation process and there is some evidence that it may help alleviate arthritis symptoms.
“It may also interfere with platelet activity so may prevent clots such as DVT.”
The Foundation recommends taking a 500mg capsule twice a day from a brand that uses phospholipids (Meriva, BCM-95), antioxidants (CircuWin) or nanoparticles (Theracurmin) for better absorption.
AXA says turmeric “is versatile as a spice so it can be added to many foods such as curries and sauces.
“As a powder it can be safely used up to 3g daily.
“Some people prefer to use it as turmeric as a milky drink.”
Be careful, because too much turmeric can thin your blood and upset your stomach.
If you take blood thinners such as warfarin, are about to have surgery, are pregnant or have gallbladder disease, avoid both turmeric and curcumin.
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