Arthritis is a bit of an umbrella term that covers somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 different diseases.  The common denominator is that they all tend to cause inflammation in the joints and pain is the common symptom.  While osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and tends to be related to age, even teenagers can develop forms of arthritis caused by autoimmune disorders.  While many forms of arthritis are not related to lifestyle choices, obesity is definitely a contributing factor to the severity of symptoms.  It makes simple sense that additional weight placed upon joints that might already be inflamed will create even more inflammation.  There are many myths about arthritis, the greatest one being that exercise will make it worse.  In fact, the very thing that provides the greatest non-medicinal relief is exercise.  It not only strengthens muscles that support the joints, but exercise creates endorphins that actually relieve pain through the nervous system.  Naturally, such exercises should be properly selected and properly executed to avoid unnecessary joint pressure – arthritis in the knee will not be relieved by jogging on cement roads.  Like so many medical conditions, the sooner arthritis is acted upon, the more likely an effective treatment plan can be devised.  Persistent joint pain, in any joint, is a cause for concern at any age and should be investigated with a medical practitioner.  It may not be possible to eliminate the issue entirely, but it is possible to reduce its impact on the quality of life.

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