Learning More About Arthritis

Trey Takahashi
May 26, 2016

I’m 26 years old and I’m a habitual knuckle-cracker. It started with the knuckles on my hand, moved to my fingers, wrists, shoulders, elbows, and knees. Yes, I’m THAT guy in the elevator. 

Though cracking your knuckles does not increase the risk of arthritis, even though I’ve been told that it does throughout my adolescence… May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and it’s a time to raise awareness and support to a disease that affects 1 in 5 adults, or 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the U.S. Seems like to good time to actually take a look at some of this signs of arthritis, right?

The Arthritis Foundation shared some of the symptoms of arthritis to look out for:

Do You Have Arthritis?

How do you know if your inflammation and stiffness means you have arthritis? Only a health care professional can tell you for sure, but certain signs usually point to arthritis. There are four important warning signs that should prompt you to talk to a health care provider.  

• Pain. Pain from arthritis can be constant or it may come and go. It may occur when at rest or while moving. Pain may be in one part of the body or in many different parts.

Swelling. Some types of arthritis cause the skin over the affected joint to become red and swollen, feeling warm to the touch. Swelling that lasts for three days or longer or occurs more than three times a month should prompt a visit to the doctor.

• Stiffness. This is a classic arthritis symptom, especially when waking up in the morning or after sitting at a desk or riding in a car for a long time. Morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour is good reason to suspect arthritis.

• Difficulty moving a joint. It shouldn’t be that hard or painful to get up from your favorite chair.

With over 100 types of arthritis there’s no one-sure-fired way to prevent this disease, but there are ways to reduce your risk of arthritis. The simplest ways to reduce your risk, and also improve your overall health; Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, and adopt a nutritious diet that is low in sugar and alcohol.

For more information about the Arthritis Foundation, visit: arthritis.org

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