Arthritis & Joint Pain is inflammation of the joints; however, the term arthritis is generally used to refer to more than 100 rheumatic diseases that can cause pain, redness, heat, swelling, stiffness, and decreased joint function.
These diseases may affect other parts of the body, including connective tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and internal organs. Arthritis is the most common disease in people over age 45, with more than 40 million Americans suffering from some form. Osteoarthritis (OA) is by far the most common, while Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the most crippling. Chronic pain is one of the most devastating effects of arthritis, often limiting daily activities. Arthritis pain comes from different sources, including inflammation of the synovial membrane, tendons, or ligaments; damage within the joint, such as cartilage degeneration; muscle strain; and fatigue. Other factors affecting pain are activity level and emotions, such as depression and anxiety. A combination of these factors contributes to the intensity of the pain, which varies greatly from person to person. You and your doctor can develop a management plan designed to minimize your specific pain and improve the function of your joints.* *by Janet L. Padgett, Ph.D. Arthritis Self-Management with Battle Creek Products, provided through the Thermophore.com website. Arthritis is the Nation's leading cause of disability according to the National Centers for Disease Control. Arthritis and related conditions affect about one of every six people, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the US. By 2020, as the baby-boom generation ages, an estimated 60 million Americans will be affected by arthritis. The enormous cost for treatment of arthritis, its complications and the disability that results from uncontrolled disease totals almost $65 billion - about 1.1% of the gross national product. In addition, arthritis has a significant effect on quality of life - not only for those who experience its painful symptoms and resulting disability, but also for their family members and caregivers. Over 7 million Americans are limited in their ability to participate in their main daily activities, such as going to school or work or maintaining their independence - simply because of their arthritis. Like arthritis prevalence, the prevalence of arthritis-related disability is also expected to rise by the year 2020, when an estimated 11.6 million people will be affected. Arthritis is a threat to a person's physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being. It often deprives people of their freedom and independence and can disrupt the lives of family members and other caregivers. Women aged 15 years and older account for 60% of arthritis cases. At least 26.4 million women have arthritis, the leading chronic condition among women, and by the year 2020, an estimated 36 million women will be affected. There is no cure for most forms of arthritis, but research shows that early diagnosis and appropriate management can help reduce the consequences associated with many types of arthritis. Medication, education, physical activity, and surgery are four effective treatment strategies that can make a difference. One intervention in particular - the Arthritis Self-Help Course - has been shown to reduce pain by 20% and physician visits by 40%. It is a 6-week session providing information on all aspects of arthritis, and interactive, participatory sessions to design individual physical activity, relaxation, and pain management programs. Battle Creek Equipment Company provides vital products for managing arthritis pain: The Thermophore Classic™ Deep-Heat™ therapy pack has long been known as a convenient, effective method of providing penetrating moist heat to help relieve all types of pain and stiffness. It reaches much higher temperatures than ordinary heating pads, and is even classified as a medical device by the FDA. There is no need to add any water to the unit - atmospheric moisture is captured by the special fleece cover and released when the intense heat is activated. Because of the higher levels of heat needed to be truly effective, the unit is provided with a special safety switch that lets users constantly control the level of heat, and will shut off if they become drowsy or inattentive. The Thermophore MaxHEAT™ therapy pack provides all the intense moist heat you have come to expect from the Thermophore Classic™, with the added convenience of a hands-free on/off switch. Just press the button and relax, while the soothing heat quickly begins to penetrate sore, stiff joints and relax muscle spasms. When the heat reaches your individual comfort level, just press the "Pause" button to let the unit cool a bit. This cycle of heating and cooling will help to increase circulation, relax muscles and relieve pain and stiffness. The switch also has a built-in 20-minute timer, to shut the unit off if you happen to fall asleep or are interrupted during your therapy session. New Thermophore Classic Plus™ and MaxHEAT Plus™ styles have a special three-layer cover that provides the option of adding even more moisture for those who live in arid climates or in homes where frequent use of heating or air conditioning systems may dry the air. A protective layer of vinyl allow you to safely add a damp cloth without getting the heat pack wet or damaging the electrical components. The Thermophore Bed Warmers™ by Battle Creek® Can help keep feet and legs warm all night long, without the need to heat up the entire bed, or to raise the thermostat setting for your home. Placed under the bottom sheet, the gentle heat rises to give you cozy warmth right where you need it, for just pennies a day. If you often have problems with cold feet or wake in the morning with stiff, achy feet and legs, our BedWarmer™ could be the answer for you. Our Ice It!® Deluxe Wrap Cold Therapy System Was designed to complement the moist heat therapy provided by the Thermophore® Pack. It provides the same safe, convenient, effective therapy you have come to expect from Thermophore.com. The soft foam-lined fabric pouches hold reusable, non-toxic cold packs that stay pliable even fully frozen and are ready for use in just 20 minutes. Wide elastic bands with Velcro® closures allow unlimited positioning and desired compression with no need to hold the cold pack in place. Available in a variety of styles to suit a variety of needs. Exercise is often difficult for arthritics, as jarring of painful joints can frustrate even the most determined patient. Our Pedlar® Light Exercisers Provides convenient low-impact exercise, right in your own home. Even patients who are unable to walk or ride a conventional bike can use the Pedlar® to build more stamina. Adjustable resistance, sturdy 16-gauge steel construction and economical price make this product an excellent choice to maintain flexibility, improve cardiovascular function and tone muscles. Available in three styles, portable and easy to store, the Pedlar® exerciser can be used to strengthen and improve range-of-motion in either arms or legs.