Everyone knows someone with arthritis. It is a leading cause of disability, and causes pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, but is not a normal part of aging. The most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Arthritis costs at least $81 billion in direct medical costs annually. Many adults with arthritis are prescribed opioid medicines, yet other options for pain are safer. Physical activity can decrease pain and improve physical function by about 40% and may reduce healthcare costs. Still, 1 in 3 adults with arthritis are inactive. Adults with arthritis also can reduce their symptoms by participating in disease management education programs. Only 1 in 10 have taken part in these programs. Adults with arthritis are significantly more likely to attend an education program when recommended by a provider.
Healthcare providers can:
Urge patients with arthritis to be physically active and to strive for a healthier weight to ease joint pain.
Recommend patients attend proven educational programs about managing their condition.
Ask patients about any depression or anxiety, and offer care, treatment, and links to services.
Consult the guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology or other professional organizations for treatment options, including medicines. http://bit.ly/2m8Ocfb
About 1 in 4 (54 million) US adults have arthritis.
About 24 million adults are limited in their activities from arthritis.
Adults with arthritis can decrease pain and improve function by about 40% by being physically active.
Arthritis is common and a growing health threat.
Arthritis is common in adults.
About 1 in 4 (54 million) adults have arthritis.
More than half of adults with arthritis (32 million) are of working age (18-64 years).
Arthritis is disabling.
The percent of adults limited by arthritis has increased by about 20% since 2002. The everyday activities of 24 million adults are limited by it, such as holding a cup, lifting a grocery bag, or walking to a car.
More than 1 in 4 adults with arthritis report severe joint pain.
Adults with arthritis are more than twice as likely as adults without arthritis to report an injury related to a fall.
Working-age adults with arthritis have lower employment than those without arthritis.
Arthritis makes it harder to manage heart disease, diabetes or obesity.
About half of adults with heart disease (49%) or diabetes (47%) have arthritis, as do one-third (31%) of those who are obese.
About half the adults with arthritis who also have heart disease, diabetes or obesity, have some limitation of their normal activities because of their arthritis.
Physical activity helps manage all these conditions.
Increased pain, fear of pain, and lack of knowledge of safe forms of physical activity can make it harder for people with arthritis to be physically active.
Physical activity programs can reduce yearly healthcare costs by about $1,000 per person.
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