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Rheumatism - rheumatic diseases

Rheumatism - rheumatic diseases

Rheumatism or rheumatic diseases is an umbrella term for several different diseases that have in common that they cause stiff and aching joints. Some of the most common are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and arthritis. The most common disease is osteoarthritis, which means that the cartilage between joints no longer forms and breaks down normally. Osteoarthritis affects as many as one in four Swedes over the age of 45, but it can also affect young people. The first symptoms are pain in the joints that occur spontaneously during normal everyday activities. The causes of rheumatism are still not fully understood and, although it mainly affects the elderly, it is not part of the natural ageing process. However, some causes include smoking, hormonal changes and heredity.

As there are many different types of rheumatism, they must be prevented and treated in different ways. For the most common type, osteoarthritis, you should continue with a reasonable level of physical activity, and a physiotherapist can help you design an exercise programme tailored to your individual needs. If you need to take painkillers in order to exercise, you should always consult your doctor first. If you are overweight, you should go down to a normal weight. This applies both for preventive purposes and when you have already been affected. Remember that you do not need to seek medical attention to get a referral to a physiotherapist. You can write your own referral or start exercising on your own with, for example, a personal trainer.

If you are in pain, there are products to help you both in your daily life and while exercising. A wrist brace can provide support for those who suffer from arthritis or other rheumatism. The support increases blood circulation in the wrist, which reduces both tension and pain. Elbow pads can be an aid for people with arthritis. The protection has a built-in compression that provides better stability for the elbow and can thus help you perform your training exercises correctly. Doing the exercises as your physiotherapist or personal trainer has shown you is important because it reduces the risk of other injuries. A knitted elbow protector is also suitable for people with osteoarthritis. The product is worn over the arm and can be worn under clothing.

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