Alaska Regional Hospital - December 31, 2011

Words that end in “itis” usually equal bad news. This four-letter Greek suffix means inflammation. Derived from another Greek word, “arthron” means joint, and together arthron and itis create a painful condition in which joints because swollen, stiff, and sore. Most people believe that only older people develop arthritis, and while the majority of those who suffer from the disease are in the latter years of life, arthritis can strike at any age.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, juvenile, basal joint, etc.) but in all types there is one general problem. Basically, your joints are deficient in some area. Whether it is a lack of cartilage or synovial fluid, an autoimmune disorder, or an infection, your bones are grinding against one another versus moving smoothly.

Obviously you'll feel pain and may see swelling, but other symptoms of arthritis include fatigue and depression. Alaska Regional Hospital can help you recognize these symptoms and find the right treatment plan for optimal results.

Try these methods to combat arthritis:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet
    • Keep sugar, red meat, cream, cheese, and other fatty foods to a minimum.
    • Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods like fruits and vegetables, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • A great strain is placed on weight-bearing joints if you are overweight.
  • Stay active
    • Although the last thing you may want to do with achy joints is be active, low-impact physical exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and yoga will greatly improve your quality of life and help delay the onset of disability due to arthritis.
  • Physical Therapy
    • An occupational therapist can help maintain joint mobility and range of motion by tailoring exercises specific to your condition.
  • Medications & Natural Remedies

At the Alaska Regional Hospital Orthopedic and Spine Center we offer personalized treatment and care for orthopedic conditions. In 2012, our hospital was again ranked number one in the state for spine surgery, joint replacements and orthopedic services by HealthGrades, an independent healthcare rating organization. And we're proud to have earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for our hip and knee replacement program.

As a leading orthopedic hospital in Alaska we know that living with arthritis is nothing short of difficult, but we're here to help.