Arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Outside of the common forms, arthritis specifically occurring after a physical injury is called “post-trauma arthritis”. Injuries of this variety can cause cartilage or tissue damage, and over time, joints can stiffen and swell, leading to arthritis. Prime examples of physical injury include sports accidents and vehicular accidents. Although the research is inconclusive, the regions most vulnerable to post-trauma arthritis include the knee, ankle, and forefoot.
In the event you have suffered from a physical injury, preventing post-trauma arthritis should be a priority. Practitioners recommend following the R.I.C.E. protocol for soft tissue injuries: Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. Pain relieving medication may be prescribed, and it is strongly recommended all activities which cause pain should be limited or ceased.
Alternative medicine can also aid in your recovery. Many soft tissue injuries respond to massage and physical therapy. Chiropractic care can also play a vital role in preventing post-trauma arthritis.