World Arthritis Day falls on October 12th this year. It is very common and most people generally think of it as confined to older people. Arthritis is not just pain in the hands, hips and knees. Many of those dealing with it are younger and it often affects the ankles and the feet. It is not a single disease. There are more than 100 types of the disease and conditions that are related to arthritis.
What are some little known facts about arthritis?
- By age 65, more than half of the population has joint damage and osteoarthritis in at least one joint.
- Lupus is actually a form that causes chronic inflammation of lungs and tissues.
- It is one of the oldest diseases known to human kind. It has afflicted humans for more than 500,000 years.
- The pain can be caused by inflammation, damage to the tissues of joins, fatigue, depression or stress.
- Cats, dogs and other animals also get arthritis, including rheumatoid. Just as with people, they also experience pain and joint inflammation.
- Gout is also a form of arthritis. Uric acid is a fluid that builds up around the joints, causing gout.
- Those with hip injuries are three times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in their hips.
- Wet, cold climates do not cause arthritis. Moving to a warmer climate will have no effect on the disease.
- Many forms of the disease are systemic. The heart, lungs, kidneys and skin maybe affected, as well as any organ.
Living with any form of arthritis can be difficult and stressful. Healthy lifestyle choices can improve your quality of life. Try to avoid stress and get enough sleep. Reduce your intake of alcohol and try to quit smoking if you are a smoker. For more information on World Arthritis Day and tips to manage arthritis, click here.