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Posted Apr 24th, 2012 by Pat Brown
Arthur. If you heard some of the old school folks [baby-boomers and some of theirparents] refer to someone called Arthur, you might imagine that he is an old, dear, and trustedfriend. Not even, close. Arthur is the pet name for Arthritis. The endearments I suppose arepsychological buffers to temper Arthurs’ wrath from the excruciating pain that he is well knownto dispense. There is nothing warm, friendly or charming about Arthur. He is a swindler; hesteals the ability from people young and old to lead normal pain-free lives. Arthur lurks upunder a shroud of ignorance that keeps people minimizing the threat of the damage he can cause.I know this because Arthur is a twin but you very rarely hear about the two of them together.Most folks believe Arthur is one and if you rub him deeply enough, give into all his desires, anddo not do anything to make him mad you will be all right. He’s slick [that is for sure] but not allthe rubbing in the world will stop the destruction once Arthur is grinding away at your bones.

Arthritis is a joint disease; Arthur is just an alias, a handle used for kinds of arthritis. Thereal name is osteoarthritis because Arthur is the most common but only half of the problem.Osteoarthritis is joint pain but it goes deeper than that; it degenerates the cartilage. This pain isthe result of two bones that suppose to have a cushion between them so that they glide across oneanother but instead they are scraping across each other like two rocks trying to start a fire. Inmedical terminology, the two bones [cartilage] are actually your bones that have worn away.Cartilage is that hard but slick coating stuck at the end of each bone. The job of cartilage isto protect this scraping from happening by allowing bones to slide like silk over each other.However, we do not know any better or even think about it. Years go by with bumps and bruisesthat we do not even take seriously unless they hurt badly enough. I guess you can add jealous toArthurs’ profile because he gets in there and breaks all that slipping and sliding up.

Now Arthurs’ twin is sneakier than that; that would be Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumy[since we are chummy like that] gets into the immune system [this system attachment is to ourcirculation]. That means he is circulating through our blood stream, taking a tour of the placeshe would like stop and settle in. Literally, he is depositing arthritis into other internal organsthroughout the body. In the joint capsule, Rheumy attacks the joints through the synovial fluid.The synovial fluid is to replenish and lubricate the cartilage. Again, Rheumy causes the thinmembrane that lines the joint capsule to swell causing inflammatory pain and redness at the site.This pain is like a hot chisel hammering from the inside out. Rheumy can kill all the cartilageinside the joint. So… if you are not feeling limber, think about it and remember, Arthur and histwin is not buddy not your friend. That gnawing you cannot see in your bones, means Arthur’s’here and he’s not alone. Word.

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About the author

Ms. Pat Brown MSN, APN, RN
Doctoral Candidate - RN for Luten Nursing Services and ADJ FCLTY at UOP

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