May is Arthritis Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis affects over 52 million adults in the United States. This means that, statistically speaking, one out of every 5 American adults you know has some type of arthritis. What’s more is that half of those people suffer from some kind of activity limitation due to arthritis.

As high as those statistics are, it’s predicted that those numbers are only going to rise over the next few years. The 2003 National Health Interview Survey estimated that 67 million American adults would be doctor-diagnosed with arthritis by 2030, and 25 million of those adults would be limited by their arthritis. Although that data is more than a decade old, the current numbers are on track to match that prediction.

Arthritis includes over 100 different diseases and conditions that affect joints and tissues around the joints. It can result in many different symptoms and different levels of severity ranging from a little discomfort to debilitating pain. In some cases, arthritis can affect the immune system and other internal organs. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, and is among the most common chronic conditions, in the United States.

Some of the most common forms of arthritis include

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

What can you do about arthritis?

Staying active is important to your overall health as well as your joint health. Physical activity can help you manage arthritis.

Sudden changes in temperature or barometric pressure can increase the pain or swelling caused by arthritis. While you can’t control the weather, you can keep an eye on the forecast and prepare for days that could cause problems.

Whether it’s from lack of sleep or depression, arthritis often leads to fatigue. Make a point to get enough sleep and rest on a daily basis.

In some cases, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the effects of arthritis. Healthy diet and exercise are both key in regulating your weight.

Your attitude matters. Staying cheerful won’t cure arthritis, but a positive attitude will certainly make it easier to manage.

Medication or surgery are often used to help manage arthritis. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the right option for you.

The earlier you start receiving treatment for your arthritis, the easier it will be to manage the disease. Arthritis is a chronic condition that will typically get progressively worse over time. Contact a physician today to get started managing your arthritis.

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