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National Arthritis Month

Do you suffer from arthritis? While arthritis can be very painful and inconvenient for many, it is more common than you think. Since May is National Arthritis Month, we at United Rehab Physical Therapy are here to tell you everything you need to know about arthritis, the different types of arthritis, how common it is, and what we can do to help.

Arthritis affects tens of millions of people in the United States alone. Most people believe that arthritis can only happen to certain people, particularly the elderly. Although more than 50 percent of those with arthritis are over 65 years, and 60 percent of arthritis patients are women, arthritis can actually happen to anybody, regardless of age and sex. Although it might be rare, arthritis affects over a quarter million children.

While there are over 100 different types of arthritis, we will tell you about the most common ones.

  • Osteoarthritis: the most common form of arthritis, osteoporosis usually happens from age and obesity; this is when the joints “break down” over time. Very common on the knees, especially for obese people, as the extra weight puts extra pressure on the knee joints.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: this type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease. One develops rheumatoid arthritis when their immune system begins attacking the joints, leading to inflammation.

  • Psoriatic arthritis: if you have psoriasis - a common skin condition which can make your skin red, scaly and itchy - and inflammation of the joints (arthritis), then you have psoriatic arthritis. It usually begins around ages 30-50, and can often cause swelling around the fingers and toes.

  • Gout: a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint. Often times, it begins with you waking up with a sudden, sharp pain in the big toe or foot. If gone untreated, gout can lead to further pain in the joints and kidneys.

  • Lupus: an autoimmune disease, lupus affects your joints and most of your organs. While the causes of lupus are unknown, lupus results in inflammation throughout your body, and can be very painful.

Arthritis can not only be painful for many, but it also affects how well we participate in daily activities, and doing the simplest tasks can become more and more difficult over time. Many people with arthritis have difficulty walking, and eventually end up needing a cane or wheelchair to help them get around. Walking up and down the stairs can also become extremely painful for people with arthritis, especially those who have it in their knees, hip or foot. If you like to garden, it can become more painful for your back and knees. You might even have more difficulty doing your morning routine, doing tasks like showering or shaving, as arthritis can affect your dexterity or your ability to stand for long periods of time.

If arthritis has affected your ability to do the things you were once able to do, or has caused you a lot of pain, United Rehab Physical Therapy is there to help. With our physical therapy services, we can provide the right treatments for you to increase your mobility, decrease the swelling in your joints, and help you live a more pain-free life. Some of the physical therapy services that work for arthritis, include:

  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation and swelling

  • Hot or cold therapy to reduce pain or swelling

  • Therapeutic exercises to improve your strength and mobility

This month, we at United Rehab Physical Therapy are there to help you with any questions you have regarding your arthritis pain. With many different forms of arthritis, and the different treatments for it, we want to help you live a more pain-free lifestyle, and tell you how to manage your arthritis on your own time, and be able to live more independently.

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