May is recognized as Arthritis Awareness Month in the United States, with 54 million adults and 300,000 children currently diagnosed with some type of arthritis. Arthritis Awareness Month is organized by the Arthritis Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation raises money to support research on treating arthritis. Moreover, they advocate for policies to help those with arthritis and improving awareness and education about arthritis.
Arthritis Awareness Month 2019 will focus on sharing how walking daily can help combat arthritis symptoms and continue fundraising efforts. Arthritis can be very painful and is a disease impacting joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Arthritis is also the leading cause of disability in the United States, as symptoms can greatly diminish your quality of life and ability to work. Arthritis Awareness Month is an important advocacy tool to improve visibility and understanding of arthritis.
History of Arthritis Awareness Month
The Arthritis Foundation was founded in 1948 and has raised over $470 million towards arthritis research and advocacy. The organization created Arthritis Awareness Month with the goal of supporting research to find cures for arthritis, informing Americans about the prevalence of arthritis, and creating a support network for arthritis patients and their family.
Arthritis includes a number of specific symptoms that impact the joints, such as wearing down joints. This results in bones rubbing directly against each other. Other arthritic conditions may be inflammatory, causing chronic pain.
The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis, the most common condition that causes cartilage to wear aware and bones to rub against each other
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, which causes joints to endure uncontrolled inflammation
- Infectious Arthritis, caused when bacteria or fungus enters a joint and causes inflammation
- Psoriatic Arthritis, a type of inflammatory arthritis
- Metabolic Arthritis when uric acid builds up and forms needle-like crystals in the joint
Living with Arthritis
Living with arthritis can be painful, frustrating, and stressful. Arthritis Awareness Month shares that the number of Americans suffering from arthritis could increase from 53 million to 67 million by 2023. Roughly one-third of patients with arthritis between the ages of 18 and 64 experience symptoms that either prevent them from working or influence the type of work they can do.
Many people with arthritis also suffer from other medical problems, with:
- 57% also having heart disease
- 52% also suffering from diabetes
- 44% experiencing high blood pressure
- 36% struggling with obesity
- 33% of patient 45 and older having issues with anxiety and depression
While medications can help treat physical symptoms, because arthritis can negatively impact mental health, it is important to consider seeing a mental health counselor who treats patients with chronic pain conditions. It is also important to regularly exercise, with arthritis patients sharing that they experience fewer symptoms when they walk daily.
Finding Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis Awareness Month helps spread further education and awareness about arthritis and helps connect you with resources for treatment. Medications, physical therapy, and counseling are important elements of treating arthritis. Specifically, it is a chronic condition that requires daily management.
Kemah Palms, the leading arthritis treatment center Houston offers, has the expertise and experience to provide the treatment and support you need if you are struggling with arthritis. As we go into Arthritis Awareness Month, be sure to contact us today for help> to learn more about how our programs can help improve your life.