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Arthritis Facts

In honor of National Arthritis Awareness Month, here are some facts to keep you in the know about the joint disease that can affect many areas of the body.

WHO IS AFFECTED?

Did you know that 1 in 4 adults have arthritis?  That averages out to about 54 million Americans that have some form of the joint disease!  Of those who have arthritis, roughly 45% report limitations in physical activities due to symptoms.  And, despite popular belief, arthritis is not just an ‘old person’s disease.’  More than 32 million suffering from it are under the age of 65.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

There a several signs and symptoms of arthritis but here are some of the most common:  Swelling, Stiffness, Pain, Deformity and Tenderness.  Quality of life is often greatly compromised by arthritis, limiting daily activities to perform simple tasks like climbing stairs, opening cabinets and doors, and bending over to pick up something.

TYPES OF ARTHRITIS

Did you know that there are over 100+ types of arthritis?  The two most common types of arthritis, a painful condition caused by joint inflammation, are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, stiffness and pain, while, Rheumatoid Arthritis is characterized by swelling, bone erosion and joint deformity.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Good news is Athens Orthopedic Clinic can help!  There are several conservative treatment options for the joint disease – arthritis, including, weight loss, assistive devices, low-impact exercises, medications and injections.

HOW IS ARTHRITIS DIAGNOSED?

Arthritis is usually first diagnosed by a primary care physician through physical exam, imaging and blood tests.  Depending on the type of arthritis and severity, they may refer to either an orthopedic specialist or rheumatologists.

Our Family Serving Yours Since 1966

At Athens Orthopedic Clinic, we frequently prescribe exercise as a way to help treat arthritis.  The movement helps with flexibility and keeps joints well-lubricated.  Exercise is shown to help alleviate arthritis symptoms and pain by up to 40 percent.

If exercise is not enough, and you still have trouble managing your arthritis, please contact us for an appointment.

References: www.arthritis.org, www.cdc.gov