September is National Pain Awareness Month. Every year. Pain professionals and activists from around the country get together to raise awareness about problems connected to chronic pain during this month. Chronic pain directly impacts millions of people in the United States. Arthritis is the nation’s top cause of disability. This age-old disease affects our society in so many ways. But today, we have the resources, information, and support to help patients and caregivers succeed in their journey, despite the many obstacles they may face. Shannon Jackson, The Peoples, will be joined by Nick Turkas, MS
Senior Director, Patient Education, and Community Connections, to discuss this important topic and how The Arthritis Foundation is the most trusted source for tips and resources to help fight arthritis pain and improve quality of life.
What is Arthritis ?
Arthritis isn’t a single disease; the term refers to joint pain or joint disease, and there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, races and sexes live with arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It’s most common among women, and although it’s not a disease of aging, some types of arthritis occur in older people more than younger people.
Common arthritis symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and diminished range of motion in joints. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and may come and go. Some may stay about the same for years, but symptoms can also progress and get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, difficulty performing daily activities and make walking and climbing stairs painful and grueling.
Arthritis can also cause permanent joint changes. These may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can be seen only on X-rays. Some types of arthritis affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
How is it diagnosed ?
Information about symptoms, health and lifestyle habits will help determine the type of arthritis you have.
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments such as medication and therapy , or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you.
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