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Arthritis Awareness Month
May is recognized as Arthritis Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Arthritis Foundation, and other organizations provide research and information to help bring awareness to the role that arthritis plays in so many lives.
Here are some facts about arthritis, the risks of developing arthritis, and what you can to do to help those who have it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joint which leads to joint pain or join disease.2 Arthritis affects not only your body’s joints, but also the tissues around the joints and other connective tissue as well.3
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This occurs when the cartilage wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other which leads to pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. This occurs when the immune system attacks the joints.
- Gout is another type of inflammatory arthritis, which leads to joint erosion.
The risk of developing arthritis typically increases with older age, but it can affect people of all ages, including children.
- Decreased range of motion
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can also come and go with time.
What Causes Arthritis?
Research has found that there is no singular cause for developing arthritis. There are numerous types of arthritis, each of which have a different cause.
A few reasons people develop arthritis include:
- Abnormal metabolism
- Immune system dysfunction3
Cartilage, a connective tissue in the joints, helps to protect joints by absorbing pressure when you move.2 When cartilage becomes reduced, some types of arthritis may develop, including osteoarthritis.
Risk factors for arthritis vary. The risk of developing arthritis increases with age. It is also more common in women, which make up sixty percent of the cases.3
Preventative Measures and Treatment
There are steps to take that can help decrease your risk of developing arthritis. Some of these tips can also help reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Maintaining a healthy weight can take pressure off your joints
- A low-inflammation diet with few processed foods and saturated fats can help fight inflammation5
There are also numerous treatments available for arthritis. Some of these treatments include:
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Assistive aids such as splints
- Surgery, such as joint replacement3
How Can I Help?
There are multiple ways you can help yourself and help others, whether that involves taking preventative measures or supporting those with arthritis.
Whether you have arthritis or are trying to prevent it, moving and participating in physical activity is the best thing you can do. Research has shown that walking has been proven to reduce arthritis pain and improve quality of life.1
Walking, and any other form of physical activity when practiced safely, can help keep you active and decrease your risk of developing arthritis.
If you or someone you know struggles with arthritis, walking or light physical activity can help manage pain and inflammation.
Check out the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program. This six week program includes a guide and walking schedule to help you get started.
As with many health conditions, there is new research being conducted for arthritis, which mostly relies on fundraising dollars.
The Arthritis National Research Foundation has worked to fund arthritis research since 1970, which has led to new information and treatments.6 You can click here to donate, or you can join their Cure Arthritis Crew and serve as a voice for the foundation in your own community.
The Arthritis Foundation is another resource that continually funds scientific research and advocates for those with arthritis. You can donate here or become a part of their Live Yes! Community, which is a support group where you can share your experience, connect with others, and learn more.
Saber Healthcare Supports Arthritis Awareness Month
Saber Healthcare is proud to spread awareness during Arthritis Awareness Month to help educate others about arthritis. As a healthcare company, we pride ourselves in learning more about what we can do to help ourselves and to help others.
Take the time today to learn about what preventative measures you can take, as well as how you can help those around you with arthritis.
To learn more about the services Saber Healthcare provides, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Arthritis Awareness Month.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov. September 4th, 2020. Accessed April 30th, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/communications/features/arthritis-awareness.html.
- Macon, Brindles and Butler, Natalie. “Arthritis.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. August 26th, 2020. Accessed April 30th, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/arthritis.
- Nichols, Hannah. “What are the causes and types of arthritis?” Healthline Media, Medical News Today. November 14th, 2017. Accessed April 30th, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7621.
- “What is Arthritis?” Arthritis Foundation, arthritis.org. Accessed April 30th, 2021. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.
- Burford, Jim. “How to Prevent Arthritis Naturally with Diet and Exercise.” PartnerMD, partnermd.com. December 7th, 2016. Accessed May 11th, 2021. https://www.partnermd.com/blog/prevent-arthritis-naturally-diet-exercise#:~:text=Eating%20a%20diet%20low%20in,take%20pressure%20off%20the%20joints.
- “Arthritis Research Leads to Arthritis Cures.” Arthritis National Research Foundation, curearthritis.org. Accessed April 30th, 2021. https://curearthritis.org/funding-arthritis-research/