Volume 1 | Read Time: 4.5 Minutes
If you become a follower of this blog it will usually be for one of two reasons. The first would be that you suffer from Osteoarthritis (OA) and you want to do something about arthritis pain. Or, if you do not have Arthritis but would learn how to keep your joints healthy. Either way, you are in the right place.
Make no mistake about it. Millions of Americans (and, other countries as well) have been left permanently disabled by Arthritis. Let’s start by saying this. This blog will give you the tools you need to fight back. It doesn’t matter if you are a housewife or a professional athlete, OA can strike without warning. And, the consequences are serious.
Every time you receive a new blog, you will see these two sentences at the top. It is just a reminder that these two simple steps are all you need to put them into motion.
It is important to understand that unless you act on this information, it is not going to help you. And our goal is to give you the tools to fight for healthy joints. If you already have Arthritis, we will provide you with all the information you need to fight back against it.
Osteoarthritis (usually just called “Arthritis” is a devastating disease. And, it is the most common form of Arthritis that has left millions disabled for life and others dealing with relentless pain. The good news is that there are numerous ways to fight back. And, we will give you all of the information you need to do so. If you are not motivated to do anything to keep your joints healthy, these statistics should get you there.
If you doubt that you will become a victim of this devastating disease, take a look that these numbers. Let’s also remember that it can strike at any age. Most reports use 18 years and up. That does not mean that younger individuals are immune. Let’s take a look at the statistics.
Their 2018 report states that “54.4 million Americans report being diagnosed with Arthritis. And, please note that this does not consider those who have Arthritis and have not been diagnosed but have the disease*. And, the majority of those who have been diagnosed are under the age of 65. So, how many Americans have OA and are not aware of it?
*54.4 million cases are what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports. The issue is the unreported cases.
There are more numbers to consider here. A 2015 study found that 61.1 million adults between the ages of 18 and 64 had Arthritis. That number is higher than those reported by the CDC. The really staggering number is this. They also stated that “91.2 million adults in the U.S. were affected by Arthritis. (2018) To put this into perspective, as of 2020 there are some 328 million people living in the United States.
*It should be noted that the report stated that OA is occurring at a faster pace now than ever before.
That is a big discrepancy in those numbers. So, you might wonder why that is the case. Simply put, there are large numbers of individuals who do not even know they have the disease. The reason that is true is that until pain sets in, most are not aware of what is happening to their joints. Think about it.
The joints in your body have cartilage that prevents your bones from coming into contact with each other. Cartilage is a “spongy” material that prevents that from happening. You can imagine just how painful a “bone on bone” situation would be.
Images below demonstrate the various stages of OA. The first shows a healthy knee. The second shows some deterioration of cartilage and the third and fourth shows you what “bone on bone” looks like. It is not a place where you want to be.
We are going to try to focus on things that you can do on your own to maintain healthy joint structures. That will include subjects like supplements; vitamins; mild exercise; talk about foods that are healthy and those that are not. And, much more. We will also be discussing traditional medicine and medical approaches to arthritic joints. All in all, each blog will have a wealth of information that will assist you in a positive way. And, we will also give you the arsenal of weapons you need to fight hard to maintain the healthiest joints possible. But first, let’s take a look at those images.
As you can see, image #1 reveals healthy cartilage. Image #2 shows us some damage caused by OA. And finally, image #3 and #4 demonstrates the complete loss of cartilage in the knee. At this point, disability is complete and it cannot be reversed.
There are basically two types of Arthritis. First, the disease itself has affected your joint cartilage. The second involves an injury to a joint structure that causes secondary Arthritis following the injury. Let’s be clear on this point.
Arthritis cannot be reversed. However, it can be managed and done properly, you should be able to manage your arthritis pain, maintain your mobility, and in general, live your life to the fullest.
If you start having ‘creaky joints’ and/or pain in a joint structure, you may be seeing the first signs of Arthritis. Some of you may also experience limited mobility in the affected joint. Or, you may hear some “popping and cracking” noises when you move a certain way. These are usually signs of OA setting in.
Clearly, when these things are happening they cannot be ignored. That is particularly true if you are having these symptoms. The safest road to follow at this point is to get a true diagnosis from your doctor.
While there are steps you can take before getting a medical diagnosis, this step can be very important to handle these symptoms the right way.
The usual signal that you have Arthritis is that you have pain in the affected joint. Remember this though. No two individuals have the same situation. With identical cartilage loss, one may have pain and the other person may not. The same is true of mobility.
A medical doctor can order some imaging if it looks like you have OA so you have a real “picture” of the affected joint. As noted, it is good to have an image and a medical diagnosis but one point should be made clear.
There is nothing that stops you from keeping your joints healthy. Nothing at all. It is up to you but the alternative to not taking care of them is not a pretty picture. Those images should tell you that.
A major part of understanding Arthritis is in looking at the destruction of cartilage. Cartilage is the “spongy” material found between all bone structures in your body. This is the “cushion” that keeps your joints functioning properly, allowing you to have pain-free mobility.
You can see that without healthy cartilage between bones, come into contact with one another. At that point, your body will be experiencing severe arthritis pain. And usually, there is no “fix” for that.
This is just a simple overview of what happens when OA strikes. From this point forward, we will be discussing all of the steps you can take to keep your joints healthy. Keep one eye out for the next blog which is published weekly so we can get you started on the right path.
Yours in Joint Health,
The Arthritis Ninja