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Arthritis affects 1 in every 5 adults and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. 

Most common signs and symptoms: 

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Decreased range of motion

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness which usually worsen with age. The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is usually caused by normal wear and tear. This is the most common type of arthritis. This occurs when the cartilage at the end of your bones wears down. This type of arthritis typically affects the hands, neck, lower back, knees, and hips.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder. This typically affects the small bones in your hands and feet. Unlike OA, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints which can cause painful swelling at the joints resulting in bone erosion and joint deformity. This is more common in women than in men.

Management of Arthritis

The focus of treatment for arthritis is to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain functional quality of life. From the CDC the treatment of arthritis may include:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Non-pharmocologic therapies:
    • Occupational or physical therapy 
    • Splints or assistive joint aids
    • Patient education and support
    • Weight loss

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