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208-235-HAND
I can feel it In My Bones
By: IHI
10.20.14 Monday
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When you were growing up, did you hear things like, “Don’t crack your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis.” Or “I swear the weather’s changing. I can feel it in my bones because of my arthritis.”  There is some truth to the latter sentence, but the first one is simply a wives tale. Arthritis is not caused by cracking your knuckles, but some people with the diagnosis can feel when the weather changes, because of the effects it has on the joints, like swelling or stiffness. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of arthritis affect the joints. Many of them include:
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
Arthritis comes in two primary forms: rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. These both do damage to joints. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the lining of a joint capsule. It causes the lining, the synovial membrane, to become swollen and inflamed. After time, this can destroy bone and cartilage found within the joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis, and affects joints that deal with wear-and-tear on the cartilage. Eventually this can create a problem where bone rubs on bone, a painful and restricting event. The cause of arthritis isn’t always easy to pinpoint, because there are several factors that contribute to the progression:
  • Hereditary: Some types of arthritis do get passed from generation to generation, so your family history does come into play. You may also have genes that simply make you more susceptible to other factors.
  • Age: Cartilage does become more brittle as you age, so your risks increase with each birthday.
  • Weight: Putting extra stress (or weight) on your joints, like your hips, knees and spine, create a higher risk for developing arthritis.
  • Previous Injury: If you’ve experienced a previous joint injury, you may have irregularities in your joint surface. This can lead to a higher risk of developing arthritis in that joint.
  • Gender: Men tend to be more at risk for gout (another type of arthritis) while women have a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Occupation: Repeated action on a joint can lead to osteoarthritis. This is true with many who worked in construction and assembly lines.
While arthritis can be limiting and painful, with the right diagnosis and treatment, many people live full lives with little impact from arthritis. If you or someone you love is suffering from the listed symptoms or you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, know that the Idaho Hand Institute is here to help you. For more information on arthritis and the treatment of arthritis, please contact the Idaho Hand Institute at (208) 235-HAND (4263) or at any of our three locations: Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Soda Springs.
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