The word arthritis is actually an umbrella term for a number of different conditions with similar symptoms. Someone diagnosed with a form of arthritis can expect to experience joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, and warmth in the affected area.
The root cause of arthritic diseases is not completely understood, making the task of managing symptoms quite difficult. Since the 2018 legalisation of medical cannabis in the UK, many individuals who have spent years trying to contend with arthritis have found that medical cannabis has helped manage their symptoms.
There are over 100 different conditions that fall under the classification of arthritis. The common link between all is the affected area — your body’s joints. Joints are classified as points at which at least two bones meet. Your shoulder, for example, is a joint. For someone who has been diagnosed with arthritis, particular joints become inflamed, causing significant pain and swelling. The most widely diagnosed forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
It is estimated that over 20 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with some type of musculoskeletal disease, a significant proportion of whom will be suffering from a form of arthritis. Despite this, medical researchers are still hard at work trying to discover exactly what causes arthritic diseases.
Potential causes and risk factors
Some types of arthritis have a clear root cause. Osteoarthritis, for example, can usually be put down to normal wear and tear in the joints, which reduces the amount of cartilage available to cushion joint ends.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is understood to be caused by an autoimmune response, whereby your body attacks its tissues, causing inflammation. What’s not well understood is the exact reason why the body chooses to behave in this manner.
Rheumatoid arthritis is also believed to have genetic links and it’s not always possible to prevent a disease that is inherited. However, for osteoarthritis and gout, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk. Carrying excess weight will put additional pressure on your joints, so enjoying a healthy diet and partaking in regular exercise will help. Avoiding activities that involve repetitive joint movements reduces the likelihood of cartilage wearing down. Allowing yourself time to fully recover from a sporting injury before returning to exercise is also important.
As there is no cure for arthritis, understanding these factors and taking appropriate steps to mitigate your risk is very important.
Medical cannabis and arthritis
While there may be no cure, there are therapies out there that can help manage symptoms. Medical cannabis for arthritis in the UK, for example, may be prescribed to individuals with diagnosed arthritis who have been suffering for many years without relief.
Medical cannabis for arthritis in the UK can only be prescribed by an approved specialist. To learn more about how medical cannabis works, potential risk factors, eligibility requirements and its effectiveness in helping to manage arthritis, book an appointment with a medical cannabis specialist today.