Learn the Truth About Arthritis

Despite striking more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is an often misunderstood disease. It is important to recognize the myths and understand the truths about arthritis.

Myth: Arthritis is not as serious as other chronic diseases.

Truth: Arthritis is actually a more frequent cause of activity limitations than heart disease, cancer or diabetes and is actually the leading cause of disability in the United States.

 Myth: Arthritis does not pose a widespread future health risk.

Truth: Today arthritis strikes more than 50 million Americans – that’s one in every five adults. Unless the current trend is reversed, within 20 years the numbers will soar. By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis, crippling our nation even further.

 Myth: Arthritis is inevitable.

Truth: Arthritis attacks all ages. No one is immune. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.

Arthritis is not just minor aches and pains. It can be quite serious, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of arthritis and to act on them.

Is it arthritis?

Could those achy joints be arthritis? Facing up to any disease is not easy, especially to one like arthritis that is chronic and can be debilitating. But learning how to recognize the signs of arthritis is the first step in learning how to manage it and to live with it. Read more to find out if you have arthritis.

Know the Warning Signs

Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body. Here are a few warning signs:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Occasional Swelling and/or tenderness
  • Difficulty moving a joint
  • Redness around a joint

Get more in-depth information about the the signs and symptoms of arthritis.

Face the Facts with Your Doctor 

The only way to know for sure that you have arthritis is to visit your doctor. When you see your doctor for the first time about your joint pain, expect at least three things to happen before you get an arthritis diagnosis:

  • First, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history.
  • Next, your doctor will conduct a physical examination.
  • Finally, your doctor may order X-rays and laboratory tests.

What to tell your doctor

You can help your doctor by writing down the answers to the following points before your appointment. Bring your answers when you see the doctor.

  • Where it hurts
  • When it hurts
  • When it first began to hurt
  • How long it has hurt
  • If you have swelling
  • What daily tasks are hard to do now
  • If you have ever hurt the joint in an accident or overused it on the job or in a hobby or sport
  • If anyone in your family has had similar problems

What your doctor should tell you

When you go to your doctor to get a diagnosis there are a few things you should learn.

  • If you have arthritis or a related condition
  • What type of arthritis it is
  • What to expect
  • What you can do about it

Make sure you are prepared for your doctor visit by learning more.

Are you ready to face arthritis?

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