About Arthritis

Arth (joint) + Itis (inflamation) = Inflamation of the joint

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What is Arthritis?

Arth (joint) + Itis (inflammation) = Inflammation of the joint

  • Arthritis is the inflammation or swelling of one or more joints.
  • Arthritis is not a single disease. Arthritis is an umbrella term to describe joint pain or joint disease.
  • Arthritis does not discriminate, people of all ages, gender, and race can be affected by arthritis, including children.3
  • Arthritis is the most common chronic disease in the United States.1, 2
  • Almost a quarter (25%) of US adults have been diagnosed with arthritis.1
  • In 2015, over 1 in 4 (27%) of Montana adults report being diagnosed with arthritis.3

Arthritis Facts

Basic Facts

  • Arthritis is the leading cause of disability.1, 2
  • Arthritis is the most common chronic disease in the United States1, 2
  • 1 in 3 adults aged 18-64 have arthritis1
  • Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is more common in women (26%) verses men (18%). However, men are more likely to be diagnosed with gout.2
  • 2 out 3 adults who are overweight or obese have arthritis.1
  • Adults in rural areas are more likely to have arthritis than adults that live urban areas.
  • 1 in 3 veterans have arthritis from their time in the service.1
    • Due to overuse and traumatic injuries during the service.

2 of 3 adults with arthritis are overweight or obese 1 in 3 adults in rural areas have arthritis  1 in 3 veterans have arthritis

 Nationally

  • Almost 25% (54.4 million) US adults, aged 18 years or older have a doctor diagnoses of arthritis.1
  • Of the 54.4 million US adults with arthritis, 43.5% (23.4 million) adults, report experiencing some type of daily life activity limitation.1
    • Activity limitation includes but not limited to holding a cup, lifting and carrying groceries, and walking.
  • Arthritis Rates are projected to increase in the next 20 years.1
    • Estimated by 2040, 26% (78.4 millions) US adults will have a doctor diagnosis of arthritis.

78 million US adults will have arthritis in 2040

Montana 

  • Nearly 27% ( approximately 216,000) Montana adults, aged 18 years or older have a doctor diagnoses of arthritis.3
  • Montana has higher rates of arthritis compared to overall US.
  • 4 out of 5 Montana adults with arthritis (82%) have at least one additional chronic health condition.3
    • Chronic health conditions include but not limited to hypertension, high cholesterol, depression/anxiety, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.
  • Over three quarters of Montana adults with arthritis experience some type of daily activity limitation because of joint pain, stiffness, and decease of motion.3
    • This includes work and daily activity limitation such being able to perform job duties or holding a cup.

 

Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis Symptoms

Most common symptom of arthritis is pain, swelling, stiffness, and decrease range of motion in or around one or more joints.

Some types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), also affects the immune system and other internal organs.

Arthritis symptoms are not the same for everyone with arthritis. Those with arthritis experience different symptoms and severity of arthritic pain and stiffness.

  • Arthritis symptoms may come and go or progress and get worse over time.
  • Arthritis symptoms can range from mild, moderate, to severe.

If you or a loved one suspects having arthritis, it is recommended to see your health care provider to evaluate the joint problem and provide a diagnosis. Only health care provider, such as a primary physician or a rheumatologist, can only diagnose arthritis.

Types of Arthritis

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is defined as the inflammation, swelling, and/or stiffness of one or more joints.

Arthritis is an umbrella team to describe a collection of 100+ conditions that affect the joints, and the tissue around the joints.

Although there are over 100 types of arthritis, the most common types of arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s own joints by mistake.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the joints in the hands, wrists, feet, elbows, knees, and ankles. This type of arthritis usually affects the joints symmetrically; meaning if one hand is affected, the other have will also be affected at the same time.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis goes beyond attacking it the joints; it can also affect the immune system and other internal organs.
  • To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis:

Gout

  • Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis.
  • Individuals with gout typically have high levels of uric acid in their blood. The uric acid create needle-like crystals and then collect in the joints, causing joint swelling and pain.
  • Gout typically affects one joint at a time, often the big toe joint.
  • To learn more about gout:

Juvenile Arthritis (JA)

Arthritis Risk Factors

Arthritis Risk Factors

There is no sure way to prevent arthritis. However, there are lifestyle modifications to help reduce getting certain types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA), or lessen the severity of the joint damage.

Controllable Risk Factors

Modifiable lifestyle changes to decrease getting some types of arthritis or making the arthritis pain worse.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

  • People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have arthritis in their weight bearing joints, such as hips, knees, and ankles.1
  • For every one pound of weight lost, is four pounds of pressure off the joints.2
  • Obese adults are 44% more likely to be inactive, which reduces the chances of losing weight.
  • What can you do:

2 of 3 adults with arthritis are overweight or obese

2. Avoid Infections

  • Microbial agents, like bacteria and viruses, can cause infection in the joint and potentially cause the development of some types of arthritis.
  • What can you do:
    • See your health care provider if you are experiencing swollen, warm, or redness in or around your joints.

3. Reduce Joint Injuries

  • Repetitive knee being and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis in the knees. Previous joint injuries or overuse of joints can cause wear and tear, which causes stress on the joints and become damaged over time.
  • What can you do:
    • Do joint safe exercises to protect your joints.
    • Ensure to receive training and use proper equipment at work and for sports to reduce joint injuries that could lead to osteoarthritis in the future.

4. Work Safety 

  • Occupation that requires repetitive knee being and squatting are associated with osteoarthritis in the knees.
  • What can you do:

5. Quit Smoking 

  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and smoking can make the disease worse.
  • What can you do:

Non-Controllable Risk Factors

 Non-modifiable risk factors are risk factors that out of any ones control to from developing arthritis.

1. Age

  • The risk of developing arthritis increases with age.

2. Gender

  • Women are more likely to have most types of arthritis.1
  • Men are more likely to have gout.1

 3. Genetics

  • Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systematic lupus erythematous (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis are genetic.

Managing Arthritis

Managing Arthritis

Once you have arthritis, it is not going to go away but there are activities and lifestyle modification you can do to manage your arthritis and stay healthy. Being a self-manager in your own health can make a difference in your quality of life.

The CDC Arthritis Program recommends five self-management activities for managing arthritis and its symptoms. 

Managing Arthritis: Strive for five. 1) Learn new self-management skills; 2) Be active; 3) Talk to your Doctor; 4) Manage your weight; 5) Protect you joints

 1. Learn Self-Management Skills

  • Attend a self-management education workshop, such as the Montana Living Life Well, to learn new tools and skills to manage arthritis and other chronic health conditions.
  • In the Montana Living Life Well workshop you will learn how to:
    • Feel more in control of your own health.
    • Manage pain and fatigue.
    • Decrease depression, fear, and frustration about your chronic health conditions.
    • Improve communication with your friends, family, and health care providers.

2. Be Active

 “Motion is lotion, rest is rust”

  • Regular physical activity can help relieve arthritis pain as effectively as over the counter medications.1
  • Being physically active can improve joint range of motion and improve. It can decrease pain and fatigue.
    • It also reduces the risk of developing of chronic health conditions, like heart disease or diabetes.
  • Low-impact, joint-friendly physical activity is recommend for people with arthritis, such as walking, biking, or swimming.1 There are approved arthritis exercise classes available in Montana, like the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and the Walk with Ease programs.

3. Talk with your Health Care Provider 

  • Be sure to communicate with your health care team about joint pain and other symptoms you are experiencing to ensure an accurate diagnosis and get you on the correct treatment plan to minimize arthritis symptoms and reduce further joint damage.
  • Be an active self-manager in your arthritis treatment by attending regular appointments with your health care provider and following the recommend treatments.
    • If the recommend treatment is not working for you be sure to tell that to your health care provider so you can find something that works for you.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight 

  • People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have arthritis in their weight bearing joints, such as hips, knees, and ankles.1
  • For every one pound of weight lost, equates to four pounds of pressure off the weight bearing joints.2
  • Overweight and obese adults are 44% more likely to be inactive, which reduces the chances of losing weight.

5.  Protect your Joints

Joint injuries can cause or worse arthritis

  • Participant in low-impact physical activities such as walking, bicycling, and swimming to avoid stress on the joints.
  • Ensure to receive training and use proper equipment at work and for sports to reduce joint injuries that could lead to osteoarthritis in the future.
  • Avoid, if possible, repetitive motion, such as bending or squatting to reduce wear and tear on the joints.

Tools & Resources to Help Manage Arthritis 

Cost of Arthritis

Cost of Arthritis

Arthritis is costly—both in medical care and in lost wages.In 2013, arthritis cost $304 billions, in the US.

  • Osteoarthritis is the second most costly health condition to treat in United States hospitals.1
    • Due to joint replacement surgery.