Arthritis is a very common condition, but it’s often misunderstood. Here are a few arthritis facts to help you understand what arthritis is, and when you should talk to a doctor for joint pain.Don't ignore the symptoms of arthritis. Know when to talk to your doctor for joint pain! Click To Tweet
Arthritis is a general term
Arthritis does not refer to a specific disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The term “arthritis” refers to joint pain, joint disease, or conditions that affect the joints or tissues around the joint. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis.
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience arthritis symptoms because there are so may possible causes for joint pain and arthritis. Some the diseases that cause arthritis can result in permanent health issues if left untreated.
1 in 4 U.S. adults suffers from arthritis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that arthritis affects more than 54 million U.S. adults. This means that a quarter of the adult population has some type of arthritis. Arthritis affects children, too. More than 300,000 children have a form of arthritis. Arthritis is more common in older adults, however, and the risk for arthritis increases as you age.
You can reduce your risk for arthritis
There are lifestyle factors that you can control to reduce your risk of certain types of arthritis. Smoking, being overweight or obese, and physical inactivity can increase your risk for some forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis.
Exercising, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco promotes good overall health, and these decisions can help reduce your risk for arthritis.
Arthritis can cause permanent damage
Some forms of arthritis can get progressively worse, especially if left untreated. Arthritis can get severe enough that it results in chronic pain, disability, or permanent damage to your joints. This is why you shouldn’t ignore joint pain and other symptoms of arthritis.
There are more than one hundred different kinds of arthritis, and there’s no way of knowing the cause of your symptoms without a diagnosis from a medical professional.
You can treat arthritis
Treating arthritis involves managing and reducing pain, preventing or minimizing joint damage, and improving function and quality of life. You don’t want to just cover up the symptoms of arthritis with an ice pack and over-the-counter pain relievers. Understanding the underlying causes of your symptoms can help you and your healthcare provider determine the treatment options that are right for you.
Talk to your doctor if you experience regular joint pain, discomfort, swelling, stiffness, inflammation, limited range of motion, or any symptoms of arthritis. The rheumatology specialists at Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic can provide diagnosis, treatment, and care for arthritis and rheumatic diseases.