The month of May is recognized as National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a disease that impacts more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. The first step in taking control over your arthritis is learning the facts.
A few notable facts about this disease:
- More than 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis.
- There are more than 100 forms of this crippling disease.
- It affects an estimated 53 million adults and 300,000 children.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. You may have heard it referred to as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees and is where the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. These changes will develop slowly and typically get worse over time.
- Pain or aching – during or after movement.
- Stiffness – most noticeable upon awaking or after being inactive.
- Decreased range of motion – or flexibility.
- Tenderness – when applied light pressure to or near the joint.
- Swelling – could be a result of inflammation.
- Loss of flexibility – joint struggles to move through full range of motion.
- Grating sensation – popping or crackling when you use the joint.
- Bone spurs – extra bits of bone that form around the affected joint.
Although there currently isn’t a cure for Osteoarthritis, there are many ways of treating and managing the symptoms.
Here are a few suggestions and tips to consider:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Diet and exercise to strengthen the body and decrease inflammation.
- Physical Therapy and proper stretching techniques.
- Pain & Anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your Doctor
- Natural supplements to address symptoms and improve overall well-being
- Surgery to restore and repair damaged joints.
Having swollen, achy joints doesn’t automatically mean you have arthritis. There are several other conditions that can cause joint pain such as tendonitis and bursitis, and other soft-tissue injuries.
If you are experiencing joint pain, you should consult with your Dr for a diagnosis and treatment. If you have been told you need a joint replacement as a result of osteoarthritis, know your options and research the best procedure for you. To discover if you are a candidate for our active alternative to joint replacement, find a Dr near you right here.