Arthritis is not a single disease. The term “arthritis” covers more than hundred diseases and conditions affecting joints, the surrounding tissues, and other connective tissues. Arthritis includes Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Lupus, Bursitis, Lyme arthritis, Carpal tunnel disease and other disorders.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and the most frequent joint disorder especially in seniors. Arthritis is a common disease. As the population ages, arthritis is expected to affect an estimated 67 million adults in the United States, alone, by 2030. Here are some of the basics of arthritis.
- Arthritis refers to any disorder that causes “inflammation” of the joints.
- Arthritis is due to the wearing down of cartilage, which is the material that cushions the ends of the bones.
- Some researchers believe that when the joints are unable to react properly to stress, the cartilage is damaged. This leads to the development of arthritis.
- Arthritis prevalence is higher in women, 24.4%, than in men, 18.1%.
- Arthritis co-exists with other conditions such as overweight or obese individuals. Additionally, physical inactivity has been found to be higher in those with arthritis.
- In 2005 and 2007 over half of those with diabetes had arthritis.
- While many people with arthritis do not experience any symptoms in the initial stages of the disease, many warning signs include pain in or around a joint, stiffness or problems moving a joint, swelling in a joint.
- Arthritis is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking and dressing.
- Of working age adults (18 to 64 years), 1 in 20 reports that arthritis affects their ability to work whereas over one-third of those with arthritis reports that their work is affected by their condition.
- Persistent presence of inflammation for long term increases the risk of a build-upp of bacteria and bacteria, leading to infections.