April 25, 2023

The More You Know: Arthritis Edition

According to the CDC, Arthritis is currently the most common disability among adults in the United States. Arthritis is the inflammation of your joints. Joints are the points in your body where two bones meet. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and symptoms can vary among individuals. Most types of this disease can cause pain and stiffness throughout your joints. While others can affect more than just your joints; other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis can affect your immune system and other organs throughout the body.  The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs most frequently in an individual’s hands, knees, or hips.
No matter your age, race, or sex, arthritis can affect everyone. There is yet to be a definite cause of arthritis, except for Gout. Gout is another common form of arthritis that can be very painful, it typically will affect one joint at a time, often the big toe is the joint that is afflicted. According to the CDC, there is still research being conducted to study the role of factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment. There are some factors, however, that you can help control to lessen your chances of developing arthritis. Those factors include weight, infections, injuries to the joints, occupation, and smoking.

People who tend to be overweight or obese are more likely to develop arthritis due to the excess weight strain on their joints. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a well-balanced diet can help keep arthritis at bay.

Many microbial agents can infect the joints which would potentially cause you to develop some type of arthritis. It is advised to see your primary care provider routinely, especially if your joints are becoming swollen, red, or warm to the touch.

Joint Injuries
Injuries to the joints or over usage of your knees and repetitive stress can cause damage and can contribute to the development of arthritis in your joints. You can protect your joints by doing special exercises that will help strengthen them.

Jobs that involve repetitive knee bending and squatting can also heighten your chances of developing arthritis. You can try making sure that your worksite is free from fall hazards and has space that can accommodate all of your equipment and tools.

Smoking cigarettes can increase a person’s risk of developing arthritis and can also make the disease worse if diagnosed. Smoking can make it harder for someone to stay physically active.

CDC (2021, October 12). FAQs about Arthritis. CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/faqs.htm#WhatIs
CDC (2021, April 16). Risk Factors. CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/risk-factors.htm