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World Arthritis Day
Posted by Scott filed under Arthritis
October 12th is World Arthritis Day. Started by the Arthritis Foundation in 1996, World Arthritis Day is meant to raise awareness of arthritis and its symptoms in the hopes of increasing early detection and treatment. Arthritis affects millions of people around the world. This October take some time to learn more about arthritis, how to recognize its signs, and support anyone you know who is suffering from it.
What is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation in joints that can cause stiffness and pain. Arthritis is not just one disease; it refers to hundreds of different joint diseases that all have similar symptoms and treatments. Though arthritis usually occurs in older populations, there are many young adults and even children afflicted by the disease. It can affect one joint, or it can affect many around the body.
There are dozens of different types of arthritis, but the most common two are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage (tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint) to break down. Enough damage can cause bone to rub directly over bone, which can cause extreme pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that targets the lining of joints. This lining, called the synovial membrane, becomes swollen. Eventually, the disease can destroy bone and cartilage within the joint. Treatments for arthritis can vary greatly depending on the type of arthritis.
Causes and Risk Factors
There are many risk factors that may lead to the development of any of the many types of arthritis, including:
- Genetics. Some types of arthritis run in families.
- Age. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop arthritis.
- Sex. Different types of arthritis are more common among both sexes. Women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while men are more likely to develop gout, another type.
- Obesity. Carrying extra weight puts more stress on your joints, which can lead to arthritis.
As there are many different types of arthritis, there is no one cause. There are many different things that can lead to the development of arthritis, including injury, an abnormal metabolism, immune system dysfunction, and, as mentioned above, genetics.
Symptoms of arthritis sometimes take years to develop; others, they may happen very suddenly. Look for these signs:
- Joint pain - The pain may come and go, or it may be constant
- Stiffness – Especially after exercise or long periods of sitting
- Swelling - Infected joints may become red and swollen and be warm to the touch.
- Loss of range of motion
- Weight loss
Depending on the type of arthritis, the severity, and the person who has it, different treatments may be used. Medications, diets, physical therapies, strength training, and surgeries may be used. If you have arthritis, you and doctor would work out the treatment best for you, plus you can learn more online about arthritis treatments.
What You Can Do
Arthritis is a painful condition. Millions around the world are suffering from it right now, and many more will become affected in the future. As of now, there is no cure, but one day there could be. The Arthritis Foundation is searching for a cure now. To donate to help this research, go to their site.
Arthritis Foundation. “What Is Arthritis?” Retrieved from: https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php
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Kokosky, Gina. (2018). “World Arthritis Day Focuses on Early Diagnosis and Treatment.” Retrieved from: https://contemporaryclinic.pharmacytimes.com/news-views/world-arthritis-day-focuses-on-early-diagnosis-and-treatment
Mayo Clinic. (2019). “Arthritis.” Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772
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