Arthritis is the term used to describe over one hundred different medical conditions and diseases that impair a person’s physical movement by damaging joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and connective tissues.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, the disease affects 1 in 5 adults as well as 300,000 children. It is the nation’s leading cause of disability. In fact, by the year 2030 an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis.
Currently, there is no cure. Rheumatologists are physicians trained in arthritis care and they can diagnose, treat and help patients manage their pain. Seeking a rheumatologist immediately after an arthritis diagnosis is the best way to start management of the disease.
Because there is no cure, arthritis care costs the United States billions of dollars every year. Arthritis generally results in millions of outpatient visits to primary care physicians or rheumatologists, almost a million annual hospitalizations per year and over nine thousand deaths.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans, most over the age of 45. It is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage associated with risks factors like obesity, history of joint injuries and age.
Another common form of the disease is rheumatoid arthritis, which affects around 1.5 million Americans. This form is more common in women, and causes inflammation throughout the body, ultimately affecting the heart and other organs.
Other forms of arthritis include lupus, gout and fibromyalgia.
The Arthritis Foundation is a not-for-profit organization in existence over sixty years. Employees and volunteers work tirelessly to raise awareness and money for research.
May is Arthritis Awareness Month and the Arthritis Foundation uses this month to promote awareness of the disease and the issues involved with it, along with the hopes of raising money for more research and support. The Foundation spearheads Arthritis Walks, which take place in hundreds of cities around the country. Teams are made up of family, friends, co-workers and vendors who walk to raise money for the Foundation. The non-competitive walk offers two lengths, a 5k and a 1 mile walk.
American Senior Communities offers programs to help arthritis victims cope with the disease. New Energy Wellness health programs are offered at American Senior Communities throughout the state. Go to www.ASCSeniorCare.com to find a NEW program near you.
American Senior Communities will participate in arthritis walks throughout Indiana, including a walk that will be on Saturday, May 17, starting at 9 a.m. at Military Park in Downtown Indianapolis. To find a walk near you, please visit http://www.arthritis.org/programs-events/arthritis-walk/.