Arthritis is a broad term that covers a group of over 100 diseases
It has to do with your joints – the places where your bones connect – such as your wrists, knees, hips or fingers.
However, some types of arthritis can also affect other connective tissues and organs, including your skin.

About 1 in 5 adults have some form of the condition. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common as you get older.

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Causes of Arthritis

There are many forms of arthritis, the cause is unknown. But there are some things that can increase your chances of getting it.

  • Age. As you grow older, your joints tend to wear out.
  • Genus. Most types of arthritis are more common in women, except gout.
  • Genes. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and ankylosing spondylitis are linked to certain genes.
  • Excess weight. Gaining extra pounds makes arthritis in the knee start earlier and get worse faster.
  • Injuries. They can cause joint damage that can cause certain types of disease.
  • Contamination. Bacteria, viruses or fungi can infect the joints and cause inflammation.
  • Work. If you work hard on your knees at work – knee bends and squats – you may be more likely to get osteoarthritis.

Most types of arthritis are associated with a combination of factors, but some do not have an obvious cause and appear to be unpredictable.

Some people are genetically more likely to develop certain arthritic conditions. Additional factors, such as previous injury, infection, smoking, and demanding physical occupations, can interact with genes to further increase the risk of arthritis.
Foods that increase inflammation, especially animal-derived foods and diets high in refined sugar, can make symptoms worse, as can eating foods that trigger an immune response.

Gout is a type of arthritis that is closely linked to diet, as it is caused by elevated uric acid levels which may be due to a diet high in purines.

Gout is a type of arthritis that is closely linked to diet, as it is caused by elevated uric acid levels which may be due to a diet high in purines.

Diets that are high in purine, such as seafood, red wine and meat, can cause gout to flare up. However, vegetables and other plant foods that contain high levels of purine do not appear to aggravate the symptoms of gout.


There are about 200 types of arthritis or musculoskeletal disorders. These are divided into seven main groups:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Degenerative or mechanical arthritis
  • Musculoskeletal pain of soft tissue
  • Pain on the back
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Infectious arthritis
  • Metabolic arthritis


Arthritis mainly causes pain in your joints. You may also have:

  • One or more joints swollen or stiff
  • Joints that look red or feel warm to the touch
  • Tenderness
  • Problem moving
  • Problems in performing daily tasks

The symptoms may be constant or they may come and go. They can range from mild to severe.
The most serious cases can lead to permanent joint damage.

Natural treatments

A healthy, balanced diet with proper exercise, non-smoking and non-excessive alcohol consumption can help people with arthritis maintain their overall health.


There is no specific diet that cures arthritis, but certain foods can help reduce inflammation.

The following foods, found in a Mediterranean diet, can provide many nutrients that are good for joint health:

  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Wholegrain
  • Foods to avoid

There are some foods that people with arthritis may want to avoid.

Vegetables, such as tomatoes, contain a chemical called solanine, and some studies have linked it to arthritis pain. Research findings are mixed when it comes to these vegetables, but some people have reported a reduction in arthritis symptoms when avoiding vegetables.


Self-management of arthritis symptoms is also important.

Key strategies include:

  • Remaining physically active
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor
  • Protect joints from unnecessary stress

Seven habits that can help a person with arthritis manage their condition are:

Organization: Monitor symptoms, pain levels, medications and possible side effects for consultation with your doctor.
Management of pain and fatigue: Medication can be combined with non-medical treatment of pain. Learning to manage fatigue is the key to living comfortably with arthritis.
Stay active: Exercise is beneficial for managing arthritis and overall health.
Balancing activity with rest: In addition to staying active, rest is just as important when your illness is active.
Eating a healthy diet: A balanced diet can help you achieve a healthy weight and control inflammation. Avoid refined, processed foods and pro-inflammatory foods from animals and choose whole plant foods that are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Improving sleep: Poor sleep can worsen arthritis pain and fatigue. Take steps to improve your sleep hygiene so that it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid caffeine and strenuous exercise at night and limit screening time just before bedtime.
Joint Care: Tips for protecting joints include using the strongest, largest joints as levers when opening doors, using several joints to spread the weight of an item, such as using a backpack, and holding it as loosely as possible. use of lined handles.

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Dr Badekas Athanasios

Athanasios Badekas is the Scientific Officer of the Orthopedic Department of the ORTHO REHAB CENTER, which is housed in the center of Glyfada. Our space, recently completely renovated, has been created in such a way as to meet the needs of our doctors and to offer a friendly and functional environment to our patients.


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