Written by: Alan Lee, RD, CDE – TOUCH Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, posted October 30, 2019
Did you know that there are over 100 types of arthritis? A common type is Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA. Arthritis is really a single disease but refers to painful inflammation and joint pain.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and they can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints. Arthritis can’t be cured, but treatment may often help.
Here are some quick facts from the Arthritis Foundation:
- 1 in 5 people over the age of 18 have been doctor-diagnosed, that’s more than 50 million adults.
- The most common type is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans.
- Arthritis is the nation’s No. 1 cause of disability.
- Infants, as young as 1 year old, can get a potentially serious disease called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The risk does increase with age. Almost half of adults 65 years old or older have arthritis.
- Regular physical activity is an important strategy for relieving pain and maintaining or improving function.
- One-third of working-age people with arthritis have limitations in their ability to work, the type of work they can do or whether they can work part time or full time.
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