May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is a very painful condition in which one or more of a person’s joints are inflamed. This campaign is to educate people on facts and prevention of the condition.

Affecting more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. The condition is used to describe more than 100 diseases which affect a person’s joints, the area where two bones meet.

Arthritis is the result of a breakdown of cartilage. Joints are typically protected by cartilage, which allow them to move easily. Without an efficient amount of cartilage, the bones rub together causing severe discomfort, swelling, and stiffness.

There are two major types of arthritis. The first is Osteoarthritis, where the joint cartilage breaks down and causes pain and stiffness. The second type, Rheumatoid arthritis, is more severe and is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the membrane surrounding the joints, and can lead to joint destruction.

There are many different causes of arthritis; however, there are no known cures for it. The Arthritis Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards finding a cure through education and research.

Although there are no known cures, there are many types of treatment to help reduce pain, improve joint function, and prevent further damage. The types of treatment include exercise programs, such as muscle toning and aerobic activity. Along with this, physical therapy may be recommended. Heating or icing the area, support joints or splints, and massages are proven to help reduce inflammation and pain.

In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, make sure you get plenty of sleep each night, at least 8 to 10 hours. You should also stay active, make sure you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and participate in stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation.