The month of May is recognized as National Arthritis Awareness Month.
Arthritis is a disease that impacts more than 58 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. The first step in taking control over your arthritis is to know the facts behind this debilitating disease.
A few notable facts about the disease:
- More than 58 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis
- There are more than 100 different 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, shoulders, and knees and is when 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:
- Maintain a healthy weight to protect your joints from excess stress
- Exercise to strengthen your body and decrease inflammation
- Natural supplements can address symptoms and improve overall well-being
- Pain relievers & anti-inflammatory medication can help ease pain
- Surgery, such as partial to total joint replacement, can 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, bursitis, and other soft-tissue joint injuries.
If you are experiencing joint pain, you should consult with your doctor for a diagnosis, treatment plan, and referral to a specialist if needed. 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 joint preservation implant systems, find a doctor near you right here.