- Arthritis is a chronic disease that includes over 100 different conditions characterized by joint pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling.
- Arthritis causes pain, stiffness, a decrease in mobility, and activity limitations.
- The three most common types of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis – is also called degenerative joint disease. The joint cartilage, underlying bone and supporting tissue may undergo degenerative changes. It affects 21 million Americans.
- Fibromyalgia – is a pain syndrome involving muscles and muscle attachment areas. It affects 3.7 million Americans.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – is an inflammation of the joint lining. It affects 2.1 million Americans.
- Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Over 7 million Americans are limited with their daily activities of living because of arthritis and related pain.
- Arthritis is not a normal part of aging.
- There are over 100 different types of arthritis.
- Arthritis accounts for over $65 billion in health care and related lost wages each year in America. This is likened to a mild recession (approximately 1% of the gross national product).
Who Does Arthritis Affect?
- Arthritis can affect any one at any age at any time. However, there are higher rates in women and persons 65 and older.
- One in five Connecticut adults (536,000 people, or 21.3%) have arthritis.
- Arthritis is on the rise because of the aging baby boomers. By 2010, an estimated 60 million Americans will have arthritis. Connecticut is approaching one in four persons.
Can Arthritis be treated?
- Sometime it can be difficult to diagnose arthritis. Early diagnosis by a doctor and appropriate treatment are important factors in keeping you active and independent.
- Treatment is selected based on the type of arthritis. Yet, only 54% of the people in Connecticut responded that they knew their type during a telephone interview (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2,000).
What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk Or Take Care of Yourself
If You Have Arthritis:
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Perform regular exercise and strength training
- Prevent injuries
- Get an early diagnosis by a doctor
- Know your type of arthritis and comply with your appropriate treatment plan.
- Take a Self-Help Course
- Do Self-Care Management
- Use Rehabilitation services as appropriate
- Get emotional support for depression and coping
- Learn more…
- Call the Arthritis Foundation at 1-800-541-8350 for free brochures and information about programs, exercise classes and services.
Links to other arthritis sites: