Each day, millions of people are faced with the challenges of living with arthritis — a debilitating condition that can make it difficult to perform daily activities, function at work, or simply move around. With nearly 1 out of 4 adults currently diagnosed, arthritis is a leading cause of disability across the United States.
Now that National Arthritis Awareness Month is here, we have an ideal opportunity to build a better understanding of this prevalent disease, and discover strategies that can help make daily life more manageable.
Understanding the Basics
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints, often leading to stiffness, pain, and reduced mobility. There are many varieties of arthritis — each with its own unique set of symptoms and treatment options. However, the two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many factors beyond our control may affect the onset and severity of arthritis, including family history, gender, and age. Other common risk factors include obesity, smoking, infection around the joints, and previous injury or over-use of joints.
Finding a Plan that Works for You
Arthritis can affect each patient differently. That’s why understanding the condition and discovering which techniques work best can help with managing the effects of this disease. Working together with your healthcare team and communicating your symptoms will help to produce a personalized plan that works for you.
Here are just a few tips that the CDC and the Arthritis Foundation suggest:
Know the Facts — Spread Awareness
Living with arthritis can be challenging — sometimes making the simplest of tasks seem difficult. But working together with arthritis specialists to develop appropriate treatment plans, as well as adopting healthier habits, can help patients live more comfortably. This month, let’s take the time to learn, ask questions, and share information that can help patients manage their symptoms and make better informed decisions.
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