Over 50 million American adults and 300,000 children suffer from the condition commonly referred to as “arthritis,” a number that is expected to reach 78 million total by 2040. Curious about how the most common cause of disability in the United States today may be or could be affecting you?
Arthritis is not just a singular disease. It is a general term referring to pain or disease affecting the joints. Over 100 types of arthritis exist, with just a few of the most common causes being:
*Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The symptoms associated with arthritis may differ greatly depending on the type. Generally however, pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the joints are indicative of an arthritis condition. Further, the two main types of arthritis–osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis–can be identified by slight variations of these symptoms.
According to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, the onset of pain with rheumatoid arthritis is quick while osteoarthritis tends to appear slowly and worsen over time. According to Mayo Clinic, osteoarthritis involves the direct wearing down of the bone, eventually leading to bone-on-bone grinding. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack and destroy the membrane around the joints.
Many people believe that joint pain is simply a sign of aging, but if symptoms persist or appear suddenly, it’s best to seek the advice of a medical professional. Depending on the diagnosis, a doctor may prescribe medications for pain, inflammation, steroids, or drugs specifically targeting the immune response. Physical therapy, alternative therapy such as yoga or acupuncture, and sometimes even surgery may also used as treatments.
No matter how young or old, arthritis has the potential to affect your life. However, treatment is available! For any concerns you may have regarding your symptoms or risk for arthritis, contact Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine at (757) 873-1554 for an appointment today.