Do you have arthritis? Arthritis is very common but is not well understood. Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Arthritis is known as a chronic condition of inflammation of the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. The most common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA) which results from wear and tear of the cartilage that cushions the joints, typically after an injury or with advancing age. More than 27 million Americans have Osteaarthritis. OA can occur in any joint, but occurs most often in hands, hips, knees, and spine.
Also called degenerative joint disease, OA usually develops over years, and symptoms include pain, stiffness, tenderness, a limited range of motion and may cause a grating sensation during movement. The pain usually is worse after activity and ranges in severity from person to person.
Risk factors for arthritis include:
Age – The risk of developing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, increases with age.
Gender – In general, arthritis occurs more frequently in women than in men.
Weight – Being overweight puts extra stress on weight-bearing joints, increasing wear and tear, and the risk of arthritis.
Work factors – Some jobs that require repetitive movements or heavy lifting can cause stress in the joints and/or cause an injury, which can lead to arthritis