That is a good question. Most people are familiar with Osteoarthritis (OA) and with good reason. That is the most common type of “arthritis” that we deal with. That is far from the only kind of arthritis that can affect your life.
OA affects more people in the United States than any other type of arthritis. As of 2015, there are an estimated 20 to 27 million Americans that suffer from OA. (Some estimates are higher) However, there is another alarming statistic that should concern you. One if five (1 in 5) Americans suffer from some type of arthritis. Let me explain.
There are approximately 100 different types of arthritis that affect us. And, that alarming figure that 1 in 5 will have some kind of arthritis in their lifetime should worry all of us. In one or another form, pain, stiffness, joint warmth, tenderness or swelling are indications of some kind of arthritis if it is more than a passing event. And, given the wide range of types of arthritis, it is in your best interest to find out exactly what is wrong and treat it accordingly.
The reason is that the sooner you get a diagnosis and treatment begins the more likely it is that you will not have irreversible damage. Unfortunately, many of us tend to overlook these serious symptoms and try to just “get by” instead of seeking help.
Arthritis in many forms can lead to severe, debilitating pain or disability and become a way of life if you do not deal with it. You have to consider the consequences. That figure of 20-27 million arthritis sufferers is actually much greater. Those with arthritis in some form other than OA push the number much higher. With an estimated 318 million people in the U.S., there are some 65 million suffering from arthritis.