May is National Arthritis Awareness month, so what better time than now to discuss some important facts about arthritis? We’re covering four fast facts about arthritis, including what causes arthritis and what you can do to prevent it.
1. Lowering your BMI can help you manage arthritis symptoms.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your entire body — including your joints. Carrying around extra weight puts extra stress on your bones and joints, accelerating their wear and tear. But don’t purely focus on exercise to lose weight. Workouts need to be combined with a healthy diet in order to be most effective and have the greatest impact on your health and wellness.
2. Arthritis isn’t exactly preventable. But you can slow it down!
The two common causes of arthritis are genetics — as is the case with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis — and injuries, which can cause post-traumatic arthritis. We have little control, if any, over either of these factors, making arthritis difficult or even impossible to prevent. But maintaining a lower body weight and modifying activities that may wear our joints out prematurely can slow down the onset and severity of arthritis.
3. There’s no set age that a person will develop arthritis.
There are many factors at play regarding the development of arthritis. While many people tend to develop arthritis in their 60s or so, arthritis symptoms may appear much earlier in life for some people.
4. There is no cure for arthritis.
While there is no cure for arthritis, treatment options have improved over the years. Conservative treatment consists of activity modification, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication, injections including cortisone, hyaluronic acid and biologics, and physical therapy. After non-surgical remedies have failed or the pain is no longer tolerable, some people may be candidates for total joint replacement, or the surgical procedure that removes parts of the damaged joint and replaces it with a prothesis.
If you are experiencing arthritis symptoms or are ready to consider a total hip replacement or total knee replacement, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and board-certified rheumatologists offer comprehensive arthritis care.