You know that arthritis is a chronic disease that affects the joints, connective tissues, muscle, tendons, and fibrous tissue. You know that arthritis can affect nearly anyone, and that without treatment, can severely limit one’s activity, impacting the patient’s quality of life. This is what you do know, but here are six facts about arthritis that you probably never knew, and that you most likely will find extremely surprising.
- You have “arthritis.” What kind? Arthritis is not just one singular condition; it actually comprises more than 100 specific conditions. In fact, if you have been diagnosed with a known condition or disease, say gout, Lyme disease, or lupus, you probably also have symptoms of arthritis.
- One in four Americans have it. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 23 percent of all adults in the United States suffer from the condition; and we pay close to $130 billion to treat it annually.
- Kids get arthritis too. The term “juvenile arthritis” can covers myriad symptoms and conditions, just like arthritis does for adults. In the U.S., more than 300,000 kids have been diagnosed with some form of juvenile arthritis – ranging from juvenile lupus to fibromyalgia.
- No pain, no gain? Not necessarily. While many who suffer from arthritis fear that exercise will further destroy their joints, the fact is that lack of movement can cause further deterioration. Recent studies show that those with arthritis who engage in physical activity can reduce pain and improve physical function by about 40 percent. That said, movement is beneficial, especially low-pact exercises such as yoga, swimming, and stretching, which can actually strengthen your joints.
- A weighty concern. Statistics show that 49 percent of adults with heart disease have arthritis, 47 percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis, and 31 percent of adults who are obese have arthritis. While you may not be able to cure your arthritis through diet or exercise, a good healthy diet has been demonstrated to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, especially for conditions like gout and fibromyalgia.
- Education is key. Even though one in four Americans has some form of arthritis, it is still very misunderstood. Organizations such as The Arthritis Foundation, which has produced a comprehensive guide to “Arthritis by the Numbers,” provide educational and advocacy support to those with arthritis as well as caregivers. Additionally, your healthcare professional can work with you to diagnose and treat your arthritic condition.
As cases of arthritis grow in number in the United States and around the world, there is no better time than now to get smart. If you think you are suffering from an arthritic condition, or need to re-evaluate your current treatment plan, you may want to pay a visit to your physician. At Lynx Healthcare, our dedicated staff is committed to providing the most diverse therapeutic options for your arthritic pain, together with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, that can contribute to your or your loved one’s quality of life. Use this convenient online contact form to learn more about how Lynx’s specialists can help you.