Arthritis is a very common condition but is not well understood. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, stiffness and a reduced range of motion. Although the term arthritis (which means "joint inflammation") technically only describes a specific symptom associated with rheumatic diseases, the terms arthritis and rheumatic disease are often used interchangeably.
To learn some interesting facts about arthritis and rheumatic diseases, select true or false for the following statements:
Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the most common cause of disability in the U.S.
There are approximately 54 million adults who have been diagnosed by a doctor with some type of arthritis. That number is expected to increase to over 78 million by 2040. These conditions have been the most common cause of disability among adults in the United States for the last 15 years.
There are only a few types of arthritis.
There are actually more than 100 types of arthritis or related rheumatic disease. These diseases often involve inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness and impaired function in the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones or muscles. Some types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, lupus and scleroderma.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) affects about 31 million Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It is sometimes referred to as degenerative arthritis because the most common risk factor for development of the condition is aging of the joints. Other common causes are injury to a joint and obesity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease.
This disease affects 1.5 million people in the U.S. and occurs when the body's immune system attacks cells in the body, primarily in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only causes pain and inflammation but may also result in deformity and disability. There may also be systemic effects in those with more severe forms of the disease.
There is a cure for arthritis.
There is no known cure for arthritis. The best way to treat the disease is to find it early and follow a treatment plan that manages pain/inflammation and reduces the chance of developing permanent disability or deformity.
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Date Last Reviewed: June 24, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor