Every May, National Arthritis Awareness Month is recognized in efforts to bring awareness to the growing prevalence of arthritis, the need for additional research and advocacy and to encourage physical activity among the millions of adults with the disease. Arthritis impacts more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. The number of individuals living with arthritis is expected to grow to 67 million by 2030. While there is no cure for the disease, there are many ways to cope with the illness’ side effects, including easy and natural arthritis treatments.
The first steps in managing arthritis are learning the facts about the illness, understanding your condition and actively engaging resources. Below, you’ll find statistics about the current impact of arthritis, information on how to live with the illness and resources to help you learn more and find resources.
Since 2013, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has provided funding to local park and recreation agencies to deliver – evidence-based physical activity programs that help people with arthritis manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
The CDC recommends low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints. These can include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes and dancing.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans as natural arthritis treatments – but low processed foods and saturated fat, to help improve immunity and reduce inflammation.
According to The Arthritis Foundation, stress sets off the immune system’s inflammatory response – which fuels joint damage in the inflammatory forms of arthritis. The longer you’re exposed to stress, the more destructive the inflammation can become. So find what makes you calm, and continue to do it.
Resources are abundant, and include the Centers for Disease Control, Cleveland Clinic, and Arthritis Foundation. State parks, local gyms, and community health and wellness programs can be great resources for both information, activity and building a network of support. Also remember, your doctor can be a valuable resource for knowing and recommending local networks and associations developed specifically for your arthritis diagnosis.