Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London


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Arthritis is a very common, often lifelong, a condition that affects the joints, with the individual typically experiencing pain or inflammation. It is becoming increasingly common as a person ages, although young children and adults can also be affected. Other factors that can also cause arthritis include autoimmune diseases, broken bones, and viral or bacterial infections. There are various types of arthritis, however the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is typically the most common of the three, with around 8 million people living with it in the UK. It often affects people over the age of 50, however it can also develop at any age as a result of another joint-related condition or injury. It is a degenerative that erodes the lining of the cartilage that prevents the bones in a joint from rubbing together. This can result in movement being more difficult, and as the bone joints start to rub together, the person may experience increasing levels of pain and stiffness. The joints that are typically most affected by osteoarthritis can be hands, knees, hips and spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also a chronic disease that affects around 400,000 people in the UK. But instead of the cartilage breaking down, the lining of the joints can become inflamed, which can result in pain, loss of function and possible long-term damage to the joint, which can disability. Typically the condition can start when a person is between 40 and 50 years old, and women are also three times more likely to be affected than men. This specific type of arthritis can also make a person develop problems with other organs and tissues in their body as the condition progresses.

Because of the various types of arthritis, the symptoms of each person can vary, however the most common symptoms can include swelling in and around the joints, pain in the joint along with tenderness and stiffness. The individual’s skin can also become red and warm over the affected joint, as well as restricted movement of the joints and weakness of the muscles. There is currently no cure for arthritis, and this could mean the chronic pain and stiffness may result in the person becoming dependent on others to assist with daily tasks and activities. However, the correct support, treatment and lifestyle changes can reduce the person’s pain, and joint function could be improved and prevent further damage. At Guardian Carers, we pride ourselves in giving you or your loved one the most professional private care in the home for people living with arthritis, and ensure your health and wellbeing comes first.

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