May is observed as “Arthritis Awareness Month” across the United States. Sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, this observance is all about generating awareness about the early symptoms of arthritis and the challenges of living with this chronic joint disease. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States, with reports suggesting about 50 million people in the country suffering from this joint condition. It is estimated that about 1 in every 5 adults, that is – 300,000 children and countless families are affected by this condition.
Arthritis is a common condition that primarily affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. It refers to an inflammation of one or more joints, which is often accompanied by symptoms like joint pain and stiffness, swelling, redness and reduced range of motion. The type and intensity of pain may vary from one person to another and in most cases can be extremely debilitating that prevent people from performing routine tasks.
The 2019 month-long campaign aims to motivate Americans to be up and moving, while raising funds for arthritis research, support and advocacy. It highlights the burdens faced by people who are affected by different types of arthritis and the importance of making them more aware about the advanced treatment options available to improve the quality of life. There are different types of arthritis and the most common types are osteoarthritis (PA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, spondyloarthritis and gout. Many factors increase the risk of developing this rheumatic disease, including age, excessive weight, predisposed genetic factors, and overuse of joints. Arthritis pain management depends on the type of arthritis and the number of joints affected. Multi-specialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer effective treatment modalities that help reduce pain, manage symptoms, and improve overall function.
Initial diagnosis may involve a physical examination, wherein the physicians will evaluate the joint movements and also check for swelling, redness and warmth. Lab tests will also be done to analyze different types of body fluids like blood, urine and joint fluids. A combination of different treatment modalities like physical therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other medications may be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with the condition.
The Arthritis Foundation, (as part of the national campaign) conducts a wide range of activities such as organizing nationwide events and providing tips on treatment, and diet. A program called “Arthritis Walk event” takes place in hundreds of communities throughout the United States. The event typically comprises teams of at least 10 walkers. Teams can be formed with friends, families, co-workers and vendors who walk to raise funds for the event. The minimum distance to be covered for this walk event is about 5 km. However, a shorter course of 1 mile will be offered for people who are less able.
Celebrate Arthritis Awareness Month This May! Participate actively in this campaign by generating more awareness about this chronic joint disease.