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Arthritis in Women

If you're a woman who's experienced joint inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness and limited movement, you're not alone. Sixty percent of all people who experience arthritis are female. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and many of the common forms of arthritis are more prevalent in women than men, but with the right treatment you can be back to doing your favorite activities.

Common Causes

  • Autoimmune diseases (the body attacks itself because the immune system believes a body part is foreign)
  • Broken bones
  • General wear and tear on joints
  • Infection (usually caused by bacteria or viruses)

Common Symptoms

  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced ability to move the joint
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning

Treatment Options

  • Low-impact aerobic activity, also called endurance exercise
  • Range of motion exercises for flexibility
  • Strength training for muscle tone
  • Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, as well as prescription medications

Healthy Lifestyles

There are many ways to help prevent arthritis. Here are some common suggestions:

  • Engage in low-impact sports like swimming, walking and using equipment like a stair stepper - they're kinder to your joints
  • Eat a balanced diet, take a multivitamin and avoid/cut down on soda. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for bone & joint health
  • Find out if arthritis runs in your family and share this information with your doctor
  • Avoid excessive repetitive motions and do not overwork a damaged or sore joint
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess weight can help prevent osteoarthritis from forming in the knees and hips
  • Use our wellness tools to calculate your BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and target heart rate. Find out your ideal body weight and nutrition needs, and track your calorie intake

Resources

For more information about different types of arthritis, check out these helpful links:

For information about exercise for older adults visit the National Institute on Aging.

North Kansas City Hospital offers a number of services and treatments for all types of arthritis. Learn more about our rheumatology services.