Arthritis: Who is at risk?
As the leading cause of disability in America, arthritis does not discriminate, as some form of it affects people of all ages, gender and race. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is more common in women than men and in those who are overweight. Nearly 52.5 million adults (more than one in five people over the age of 18) and 300,000 children (one in 250 children under the age of 18) have some type of arthritis. It is estimated that 67 million people will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030.
What are the signs of arthritis?
The most common symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Stiffness, joint pain, and swelling in the joints, especially in the morning, are all common signs. Additionally, people may experience a decrease in range of motion of the joints or redness of the skin around the joint.
Although there are no magical solutions or medications available to completely prevent arthritis, there are several ways people can help combat the disease long before it onsets. Some examples of ways people can delay onset or altogether prevent the disease include:
Osteoarthritis – maintain a healthy weight
Rheumatoid arthritis – do not smoke or subject yourself to second-hand smoke
Gout – maintain a healthy diet that is low in sugar, alcohol and purines
In some cases, preventing an injury can significantly help reduce the risk of arthritis down the road. A way to do this would be to avoid sports injuries through proper equipment, adequate training and safe playing, which can prevent injuries such as ACL tears or other incidents that may lead to conditions such as osteoarthritis down the road.
As with any type of disease or medical condition, treatments vary for every patient. The CDC encourages five self-management activities everyone can do to take control of arthritis, which include:
- Learn arthritis management strategies
- Be active
- Watch your weight
- See your doctor regularly
- Protect your joints
The physicians and experts at AOK offer a variety of treatment options for arthritic patients. The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of discomfort the patients are experiencing, as well as to prevent additional damage to the joints. AOK offers patients options that extend beyond just medication, including a variety of physical therapy treatments as well as surgical options. To learn more about AOK services or to schedule a consultation with one of our experts specializing in arthritis care, visit AOKC.net.