Most people associate arthritis with aging. However, it’s actually a general term for describing any form of joint pain and related conditions.
In fact, there are so many types of arthritis that experts organize them by their four most common causes:
All in all, arthritis conditions impact 54.4 million adults and 300,000 children, and it’s the primary cause of disability in the country.
Here at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr., provides innovative solutions for managing acute and chronic pain conditions, like arthritis. He offers these insights into the risk factors that can increase your chances of this common condition.
Approximately 1 in 4 adults lives with arthritis. This statistic makes it fairly obvious that, while there are numerous forms of arthritis, your odds of having a joint condition increases with age. That’s especially true for the most common types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Both men and women can get arthritis, but your risk of certain types increases depending on your gender. For example, the most common inflammatory form, known as rheumatoid arthritis, affects women more often than men. However, gout — the third most common type of arthritis — occurs more often in men.
A significant risk factor for arthritis involves your weight. That's because carrying extra pounds, even a few, puts additional pressure and strain on joints in your body — especially weight-bearing joints, like your knees and hips.
However, the risk doesn't stop there. Being overweight and obese also increases inflammation in the body, which can worsen symptoms and make medications less effective. You can see this with rheumatoid arthritis, where approximately two-thirds of people with this condition are overweight or obese.
Your parents can give you more than their hair or eye color; they can also pass on health conditions, including some forms of arthritis. That means you have an increased likelihood of developing arthritis if a sibling or parent also has the disorder.
Have you heard someone say they knew it would rain because an old injury aches when the weather changes? That's because you are more likely to develop joint problems like arthritis if you sustain an injury, whether you were playing sports or in a car accident, or you tripped and fell.
The most important thing for managing arthritis involves finding treatment as early as possible. If you’re at risk of developing some form of arthritis, Dr. Dupay recommends scheduling an assessment, even if you don’t have symptoms. When it comes to arthritis, early intervention is the best way to prevent or slow the condition.
For more information on your risk factors and treatment options, contact Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida to schedule a consultation by calling 239-768-2272 today.