Did you know that September is Arthritis Awareness Month? According to statistics, nearly 6 million Canadians have arthritis. This is about 20% of the entire population.
We’ve all heard of arthritis, but there’s plenty we may not know. Here are five quick facts about arthritis.
1. Children and adolescents can suffer from the disease.
In Canada, at least 25,000 children under the age of 15 seek medical care for treatment and management of arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is a chronic condition, and while some children may grow out of it, the condition can last for months or even years.
Sometimes, children and adolescents can be successfully treated for their symptoms and experience remission for the rest of their lives. However, it’s also common for arthritis to resurface later in life. Fortunately, many children do not experience permanent joint damage when treated.
2. Women are more likely to experience arthritis than men.
One in four Canadian women have arthritis, and nearly 60% of the total Canadian population suffering from arthritis are women. While arthritis can affect anyone of any age, it disproportionately affects women because their joints are more lax. This means that they are generally less stable than men’s joints, increasing the risk of injury and the likelihood of arthritis.
3. There are more than 100 types of arthritis.
According to the Arthritis Society, there are over 100 conditions that are classified as arthritis.
In general, arthritis is characterized by chronic pain and stiffness in the joints. The major types include ones most people are familiar with, such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. There are even forms of arthritis that affect the heart, eyes, lungs and skin.
4. There is no cure, but there are treatments.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis yet. However, it’s crucial to get treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.
If left untreated, all types of arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage and limited range of motion in the affected joints.
5. Arthritis can hinder your quality of life.
People with arthritis are more likely to experience mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Arthritis can also interfere with everyday tasks like running errands, caring for children or enjoying hobbies.
If you’re experiencing arthritis symptoms, the CDC recommends adding more aerobic activities like walking to your daily routine. This can help improve joint pain and fatigue as well as build strength and stamina in affected joints.