Are achy joints slowing you down?

Aches and pain, stiffness and muscle fatigue - these are all symptoms of the two most common joint conditions, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Either one of these conditions can slow you down if you don’t know how to ease the pain and get the right treatment options.

Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid arthritis
What is it? As cartilage in joints wears away, bones may rub together, causing pain. Your body mistakenly attacks the membrane in your joints, causing pain and damage.
Causes Injury or overuse; family history; being overweight and age (especially age 60+). The exact cause is unknown, but doctors believe your family history and environment may play a role.
Symptoms Most common symptoms are joint pain, stiffness and difficulty with activities. Muscle aches; fatigue joint pain, often on both sides of your body; stiffness especially in the morning or evening
See a doctor if you... have new joint pain for more than seven days or severe pain after an injury. have pain for more than three months. Early diagnosis can prevent further damage.
Ease the pain with... acetaminophen (Tylenol) as it’s gentle on the stomach. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory. prescription medicines to ease symptoms and slow or stop the damage.

You don’t have to live with the pain. Help yourself by:

  1. Controlling your weight with exercise and healthy eating. Losing just 10 pounds can help you take pressure off your joints, reducing your pain.
  2. Use heat or ice on your joint. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is best for you.
  3. Take a break, don’t push it too hard. Rest to calm the inflammation.

Talk to your doctor if you are having joint pain and get moving again.